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

Long antibody HCDR3s from HIV-naïve donors presented on a PG9 neutralizing antibody background mediate HIV neutralization.

Willis JR, Finn JA, Briney B, Sapparapu G, Singh V, King H, LaBranche CC, Montefiori DC, Meiler J, Crowe JE
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 113 (16): 4446-51

PMID: 27044078 · PMCID: PMC4843476 · DOI:10.1073/pnas.1518405113

Development of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) against HIV-1 usually requires prolonged infection and induction of Abs with unusual features, such as long heavy-chain complementarity-determining region 3 (HCDR3) loops. Here we sought to determine whether the repertoires of HIV-1-naïve individuals contain Abs with long HCDR3 loops that could mediate HIV-1 neutralization. We interrogated at massive scale the structural properties of long Ab HCDR3 loops in HIV-1-naïve donors, searching for structured HCDR3s similar to those of the HIV-1 bnAb PG9. We determined the nucleotide sequences encoding 2.3 × 10(7)unique HCDR3 amino acid regions from 70 different HIV-1-naïve donors. Of the 26,917 HCDR3 loops with 30-amino acid length identified, we tested 30 for further study that were predicted to have PG9-like structure when chimerized onto PG9. Three of these 30 PG9 chimeras bound to the HIV-1 gp120 monomer, and two were neutralizing. In addition, we found 14 naturally occurring HCDR3 sequences that acquired the ability to bind to the HIV-1 gp120 monomer when adding 2- to 7-amino acid mutations via computational design. Of those 14 designed Abs, 8 neutralized HIV-1, with IC50values ranging from 0.7 to 98 µg/mL. These data suggest that the repertoire of HIV-1-naïve individuals contains rare B cells that encode HCDR3 loops that bind or neutralize HIV-1 when presented on a PG9 background with relatively few or no additional mutations. Long HCDR3 sequences are present in the HIV-naïve B-cell repertoire, suggesting that this class of bnAbs is a favorable target for rationally designed preventative vaccine efforts.

MeSH Terms (12)

Amino Acid Substitution Antibodies, Neutralizing Blood Donors Complementarity Determining Regions Female HIV-1 HIV Antibodies HIV Envelope Protein gp120 Humans Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains Male Mutation, Missense

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