James Crowe
Faculty Member
Last active: 3/31/2019

Low frequency of broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies during chronic infection even in quaternary epitope targeting antibodies containing large numbers of somatic mutations.

Hicar MD, Chen X, Kalams SA, Sojar H, Landucci G, Forthal DN, Spearman P, Crowe JE
Mol Immunol. 2016 70: 94-103

PMID: 26748387 · PMCID: PMC4762738 · DOI:10.1016/j.molimm.2015.12.002

Neutralizing antibodies (Abs) are thought to be a critical component of an appropriate HIV vaccine response. It has been proposed that Abs recognizing conformationally dependent quaternary epitopes on the HIV envelope (Env) trimer may be necessary to neutralize diverse HIV strains. A number of recently described broadly neutralizing monoclonal Abs (mAbs) recognize complex and quaternary epitopes. Generally, many such Abs exhibit extensive numbers of somatic mutations and unique structural characteristics. We sought to characterize the native antibody (Ab) response against circulating HIV focusing on such conformational responses, without a prior selection based on neutralization. Using a capture system based on VLPs incorporating cleaved envelope protein, we identified a selection of B cells that produce quaternary epitope targeting Abs (QtAbs). Similar to a number of broadly neutralizing Abs, the Ab genes encoding these QtAbs showed extensive numbers of somatic mutations. However, when expressed as recombinant molecules, these Abs failed to neutralize virus or mediate ADCVI activity. Molecular analysis showed unusually high numbers of mutations in the Ab heavy chain framework 3 region of the variable genes. The analysis suggests that large numbers of somatic mutations occur in Ab genes encoding HIV Abs in chronically infected individuals in a non-directed, stochastic, manner.

Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

MeSH Terms (15)

Antibodies, Monoclonal Antibodies, Neutralizing B-Lymphocytes Cell Separation env Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Epitopes Flow Cytometry Genes, Immunoglobulin HIV Antibodies HIV Infections Humans Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains Immunoglobulin Variable Region Mutation

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