Meili Wei

Sun Yat-Sen University, Shengcheng, Guangdong, China

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Publications (3)7.67 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Using a recombinant protein N46FdFc that mimics the HIV-1 gp41 N-helix trimer to immunize mice, we identified the first IgM monoclonal antibody 18D3 that specifically bound to the conserved gp41 pocket. Its F(ab')2 fragment potently inhibited HIV-1 Env-mediated cell-cell fusion and neutralized infection by laboratory-adapted and primary HIV-1 isolates with different subtypes and tropism, including the T20-resistant variants. This F(ab')2 fragment can be used to develop a bispecific broad neutralizing monoclonal antibody or HIV-1 inactivator as a novel immunotherapeutic for treatment and prevention of HIV-1 infection.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Microbes and Infection
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    ABSTRACT: During the process of HIV-1 fusion with the target cell, the N-terminal heptad repeat (NHR) of gp41 interacts with the C-terminal heptad repeat (CHR) to form fusogenic six-helix bundle (6-HB) core. We previously identified a crucial residue for 6-HB formation and virus entry - Lys63 (K63) in the C-terminal region of NHR (aa 54-70), which forms a hydrophobic cavity. It can form an important salt bridge with Asp121 (D121) in gp41 CHR. Here, we found another important conserved residue for virus fusion and entry, Arg46 (R46), in the N-terminal region of NHR (aa 35-53), which forms a hydrogen bond with a polar residue, Asn43 (N43), in NHR, as a part of the hydrogen-bond network. R46 can also form a salt bridge with a negatively charged residue, Glu137 (E137), in gp41 CHR. Substitution of R46 with the hydrophobic residue Ala (R46A) or the negatively charged residue Glu (R46E) resulted in disruption of the hydrogen bond network, breakage of the salt bridge and reduction of 6-HB's stability, leading to impairment of viral fusion and decreased inhibition of N36, an NHR peptide. Similarly, CHR peptide C34 with substitution of E137 for Ala (E137A) or Arg (E137R) also exhibited reduced inhibitory activity against HIV-1 infection and HIV-1-mediated cell-to-cell fusion. These results suggest that the positively charged residue R46 and its hydrogen bond network, together with the salt bridge between R46 and E137, are important for viral fusion and entry and may therefore serve as a target for designing novel HIV fusion/entry inhibitors.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: A xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) has been reported to be an emerging pathogen associated with prostate cancer (PC) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). However, recent studies have demonstrated that XMRV is a laboratory-derived virus resulting from genetic recombination between two mouse viral genomes during serial xenograft tissue transplantation. This study describes a phylogenetic analysis that compared XMRV with the ecotropic murine leukemia viruses (E-MLV), xenotropic MLV (X-MLV), and other retroviruses, including HTLV-1 and HIV-1. We found that sequences corresponding to three XMRV structural proteins (Env, Gag, and Pol) exhibited high degrees of homology with X-MLV (>91 %) and E-MLV (67-96 %), but not HTLV-1 (13-16 %) or HIV-1 (10-15 %), indicating that XMRV was derived from X-MLV and/or E-MLV. We then compared the infectivity of XMRV and E-MLV for human and murine lymphocytes, respectively. Results showed that human PBMCs were not susceptible to XMRV infection, suggesting that XMRV exhibits host cell tropism similar to E-MLV that only infects murine PBMCs. These data suggest that it is unlikely that this laboratory-generated retrovirus could cause disease in humans.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Virus Genes