Immunotypes of a quaternary site of HIV-1 vulnerability and their recognition by antibodies.
ABSTRACT HIV-1 is neutralized by a class of antibodies that preferentially recognize a site formed on the assembled viral spike. Such quaternary structure-specific antibodies have diverse neutralization breadths, with antibodies PG16 and PG9 able to neutralize 70 to 80% of circulating HIV-1 isolates while antibody 2909 is specific for strain SF162. We show that alteration between a rare lysine and a common N-linked glycan at position 160 of HIV-1 gp120 is primarily responsible for toggling between 2909 and PG16/PG9 neutralization sensitivity. Quaternary structure-specific antibodies appear to target antigenic variants of the same epitope, with neutralization breadth determined by the prevalence of recognized variants among circulating isolates.
SourceAvailable from: Huldrych F Günthard[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Background Variable loops 1 and 2 (V1V2) of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120 perform two key functions: ensuring envelope trimer entry competence and shielding against neutralizing antibodies. While preserving entry functionality would suggest a high need for V1V2 sequence optimization and conservation, shielding efficacy is known to depend on a high flexibility of V1V2 giving rise to its substantial sequence variability. How entry competence of the trimer is maintained despite the continuous emergence of antibody escape mutations within V1V2 has not been resolved. Since HIV cell-cell transmission is considered a highly effective means of virus dissemination, we investigated whether cell-cell transmission may serve to enhance infectivity of V1V2 variants with debilitated free virus entry.ResultsIn a detailed comparison of wt and V1V2 mutant envelopes, V1V2 proved to be a key factor in ascertaining free virus infectivity, with V1V2 mutants displaying significantly reduced trimer integrity. Despite these defects, cell-cell transmission was able to partially rescue infectivity of V1V2 mutant viruses. We identified two regions, encompassing amino acids 156 to 160 (targeted by broadly neutralizing antibodies) and 175 to 180 (encompassing the ¿4ß7 binding site) which were particularly prone to free virus infectivity loss upon mutation but maintained infectivity in cell-cell transmission. Of note, V1V2 antibody shielding proved important during both free virus infection and cell-cell transmission.Conclusions Based on our data we propose a model for V1V2 evolution that centers on cell-cell transmission as a salvage pathway for virus replication. Escape from antibody neutralization may frequently result in V1V2 mutations that reduce free virus infectivity. Cell-cell transmission could provide these escape viruses with sufficiently high replication levels that enable selection of compensatory mutations, thereby restoring free virus infectivity while ensuring antibody escape. Thus, our study highlights the need to factor in cell-cell transmission when considering neutralization escape pathways of HIV-1.Retrovirology 09/2014; 11(1):75. DOI:10.1186/PREACCEPT-1148975491133162 · 4.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: An increasing number of broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bnMAb) against the HIV-1 envelope (Env) protein has been discovered recently. Despite this progress, vaccination efforts with the aim to re-elicit bnMAbs that provide protective immunity have failed so far. Herein, we describe the development of a mammalian cell based FACS-panning method in which bnMAbs are used as tools to select surface-exposed envelope variants according to their binding affinity. For that purpose, an HIV-1 derived lentiviral vector was developed to infect HEK293T cells at low multiplicity of infection (MOI) in order to link Env phenotype and genotype. For proof of principle, a gp145 Env model-library was established in which the complete V3 domain was substituted by five strain specific V3 loop sequences with known binding affinities to nMAb 447-52D, respectively. Env genes were recovered from selected cells by PCR, subcloned into a lentiviral vector (i) to determine and quantify the enrichment nMAb binders and (ii) to generate a new batch of transduction competent particles. After 2 selection cycles the Env variant with highest affinity was enriched 20-fold and represented 80% of the remaining Env population. Exploiting the recently described bnMAbs, this procedure might prove useful in selecting Env proteins from large Env libraries with the potential to elicit bnMAbs when used as vaccine candidates.PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e109196. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0109196 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: HIV-1 enters target cells by virtue of envelope glycoprotein trimers that are incorporated at low density in the viral membrane. How many trimers are required to interact with target cell receptors to mediate virus entry, the HIV entry stoichiometry, still awaits clarification. Here, we provide estimates of the HIV entry stoichiometry utilizing a combined approach of experimental analyses and mathematical modeling. We demonstrate that divergent HIV strains differ in their stoichiometry of entry and require between 1 to 7 trimers, with most strains depending on 2 to 3 trimers to complete infection. Envelope modifications that perturb trimer structure lead to an increase in the entry stoichiometry, as did naturally occurring antibody or entry inhibitor escape mutations. Highlighting the physiological relevance of our findings, a high entry stoichiometry correlated with low virus infectivity and slow virus entry kinetics. The entry stoichiometry therefore directly influences HIV transmission, as trimer number requirements will dictate the infectivity of virus populations and efficacy of neutralizing antibodies. Thereby our results render consideration of stoichiometric concepts relevant for developing antibody-based vaccines and therapeutics against HIV.PLoS Pathogens 01/2015; 11(1):e1004595. DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004595 · 8.06 Impact Factor