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The events required for the induction of broad neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) following HIV-1 envelope (Env) vaccination are unknown, and their induction in animal models as proof of concept would be critical. Here, we describe the induction of plasma antibodies capable of neutralizing heterologous primary (tier 2) HIV-1 strains in one macaque and two rabbits. Env immunogens were designed to induce CD4 binding site (CD4bs) bnAbs, but surprisingly, the macaque developed V1V2-glycan bnAbs. Env immunization of CD4bs bnAb heavy chain rearrangement (VDJ) knockin mice similarly induced V1V2-glycan neutralizing antibodies (nAbs), wherein the human CD4bs V chains were replaced with mouse rearrangements bearing diversity region (D)-D fusions, creating antibodies with long, tyrosine-rich HCDR3s. Our results show that Env vaccination can elicit broad neutralization of tier 2 HIV-1, demonstrate that V1V2-glycan bnAbs are more readily induced than CD4bs bnAbs, and define V replacement and diversity region fusion as potential mechanisms for generating V1V2-glycan bnAb site antibodies.
Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The elicitation of autologous neutralizing responses by immunization with HIV-1 envelope (Env) trimers conformationally stabilized in a prefusion closed state has generated considerable interest in the HIV-1 vaccine field. However, soluble prefusion closed Env trimers have been produced from only a handful of HIV-1 strains, limiting their utility as vaccine antigens and B cell probes. Here, we report the engineering from 81 HIV-1 strains of soluble, fully cleaved, prefusion Env trimers with appropriate antigenicity. We used a 96-well expression-screening format to assess the ability of artificial disulfides and Ile559Pro substitution (DS-SOSIP) to produce soluble cleaved-Env trimers; from 180 Env strains, 20 yielded prefusion closed trimers. We also created chimeras, by utilizing structure-based design to incorporate select regions from the well-behaved BG505 strain; from 180 Env strains, 78 DS-SOSIP-stabilized chimeras, including 61 additional strains, yielded prefusion closed trimers. Structure-based design thus enables the production of prefusion closed HIV-1-Env trimers from dozens of diverse strains.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
The HIV-1 envelope (Env) trimer is a target for vaccine design as well as a conformational machine that facilitates virus entry by transitioning between prefusion-closed, CD4-bound, and coreceptor-bound conformations by transitioning into a postfusion state. Vaccine designers have sought to restrict the conformation of the HIV-1 Env trimer to its prefusion-closed state as this state is recognized by most broadly neutralizing, but not nonneutralizing, antibodies. We previously identified a disulfide bond, I201C-A433C (DS), which stabilizes Env in the vaccine-desired prefusion-closed state. When placed into the context of BG505 SOSIP.664, a soluble Env trimer mimic developed by Sanders, Moore, and colleagues, the engineered DS-SOSIP trimer showed reduced conformational triggering by CD4. Here, we further stabilize DS-SOSIP through a combination of structure-based design and 96-well-based expression and antigenic assessment. From 103 designs, we identified one, named DS-SOSIP.4mut, with four additional mutations at the interface of potentially mobile domains of the prefusion-closed structure. We also determined the crystal structures of DS-SOSIP.4mut at 4.1-Å resolution and of an additional DS-SOSIP.6mut variant at 4.3-Å resolution, and these confirmed the formation of engineered disulfide bonds. Notably, DS-SOSIP.4mut elicited a higher ratio of tier 2 autologous titers versus tier 1 V3-sensitive titers than BG505 SOSIP.664. DS-SOSIP.4mut also showed reduced recognition of CD4 and increased thermostability. The improved antigenicity, thermostability, and immunogenicity of DS-SOSIP.4mut suggest utility as an immunogen or a serologic probe; moreover, the specific four alterations identified here, M154, M300, M302, and L320 (4mut), can also be transferred to other HIV-1 Env trimers of interest to improve their properties. One approach to elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1 is to stabilize the structurally flexible HIV-1 envelope (Env) trimer in a conformation that displays predominantly broadly neutralizing epitopes and few to no nonneutralizing epitopes. The prefusion-closed conformation of HIV-1 Env has been identified as one such preferred conformation, and a current leading vaccine candidate is the BG505 DS-SOSIP variant, comprising two disulfides and an Ile-to-Pro mutation of Env from strain BG505. Here, we introduced additional mutations to further stabilize BG505 DS-SOSIP in the vaccine-preferred prefusion-closed conformation. In guinea pigs, our best mutant, DS-SOSIP.4mut, elicited a significantly higher ratio of autologous versus V3-directed neutralizing antibody responses than the SOSIP-stabilized form. We also observed an improvement in thermostability and a reduction in CD4 affinity. With improved antigenicity, stability, and immunogenicity, DS-SOSIP.4mut-stabilized trimers may have utility as HIV-1 immunogens or in other antigen-specific contexts, such as with B-cell probes.
Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.
Numerous antibodies have been identified from HIV-1-infected donors that neutralize diverse strains of HIV-1. These antibodies may provide the basis for a B cell-mediated HIV-1 vaccine. However, it has been unclear how to elicit similar antibodies by vaccination. To address this issue, we have undertaken an informatics-based approach to understand the genetic and immunologic processes controlling the development of HIV-1-neutralizing antibodies. As DNA sequencing comprises the fastest growing database of biological information, we focused on incorporating next-generation sequencing of B-cell transcripts to determine the origin, maturation pathway, and prevalence of broadly neutralizing antibody lineages (Antibodyomics1, 2, 4, and 6). We also incorporated large-scale robotic analyses of serum neutralization to identify and quantify neutralizing antibodies in donor cohorts (Antibodyomics3). Statistical analyses furnish another layer of insight (Antibodyomics5), with physical characteristics of antibodies and their targets through molecular dynamics simulations (Antibodyomics7) and free energy perturbation analyses (Antibodyomics8) providing information-rich output. Functional interrogation of individual antibodies (Antibodyomics9) and synthetic antibody libraries (Antibodyomics10) also yields multi-dimensional data by which to understand and improve antibodies. Antibodyomics, described here, thus comprise resolution-enhancing tools, which collectively embody an information-driven discovery engine aimed toward the development of effective B cell-based vaccines.
© 2017 The Authors. Immunological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Computational neutralization fingerprinting, NFP, is an efficient and accurate method for predicting the epitope specificities of polyclonal antibody responses to HIV-1 infection. Here, we present next-generation NFP algorithms that substantially improve prediction accuracy for individual donors and enable serologic analysis for entire cohorts. Specifically, we developed algorithms for: (a) selection of optimized virus neutralization panels for NFP analysis, (b) estimation of NFP prediction confidence for each serum sample, and (c) identification of sera with potentially novel epitope specificities. At the individual donor level, the next-generation NFP algorithms particularly improved the ability to detect multiple epitope specificities in a sample, as confirmed both for computationally simulated polyclonal sera and for samples from HIV-infected donors. Specifically, the next-generation NFP algorithms detected multiple specificities in twice as many samples of simulated sera. Further, unlike the first-generation NFP, the new algorithms were able to detect both of the previously confirmed antibody specificities, VRC01-like and PG9-like, in donor CHAVI 0219. At the cohort level, analysis of ~150 broadly neutralizing HIV-infected donor samples suggested a potential connection between clade of infection and types of elicited epitope specificities. Most notably, while 10E8-like antibodies were observed in infections from different clades, an enrichment of such antibodies was predicted for clade B samples. Ultimately, such large-scale analyses of antibody responses to HIV-1 infection can help guide the design of epitope-specific vaccines that are tailored to take into account the prevalence of infecting clades within a specific geographic region. Overall, the next-generation NFP technology will be an important tool for the analysis of broadly neutralizing polyclonal antibody responses against HIV-1.
One of the goals of HIV-1 vaccine development is the elicitation of neutralizing antibodies against vulnerable regions on the envelope glycoprotein (Env) viral spike. Broadly neutralizing antibodies targeting the Env glycan-V3 region (also called the N332 glycan supersite) have been described previously, with several single lineages each derived from different individual donors. We used a high-throughput B-cell culture method to isolate neutralizing antibodies from an HIV-1-infected donor with high serum neutralization breadth. Clonal relatives from three distinct antibody lineages were isolated. Each of these antibody lineages displayed modest breadth and potency but shared several characteristics with the well-characterized glycan-V3 antibodies, including dependence on glycans N332 and N301, VH4 family gene utilization, a heavy chain complementarity-determining region 2 (CDRH2) insertion, and a longer-than-average CDRH3. In contrast to previously described glycan-V3 antibodies, these antibodies preferentially recognized the native Env trimer compared to monomeric gp120. These data indicate the diversity of antibody specificities that target the glycan-V3 site. The quaternary binding preference of these antibodies suggests that that their elicitation likely requires the presentation of a native-like trimeric Env immunogen.
IMPORTANCE - Broadly neutralizing antibodies targeting the HIV-1 glycan-V3 region with single lineages from individual donors have been described previously. Here we describe three lineages from a single donor, each of which targets glycan-V3. Unlike previously described glycan-V3 antibodies, these mature antibodies bind preferentially to the native Env trimer and weakly to the gp120 monomer. These data extend our knowledge of the immune response recognition of the N332 supersite region and suggest that the mode of epitope recognition is more complex than previously anticipated.
Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Development of broad HIV neutralizing antibodies during infection requires prolonged exposure to viral variants. A series of three studies published in this issue of Cell and a related paper in Immunity report new HIV structure-based design efforts focused on sequential boosting regimens with antigens of increasing maturation that point the way forward for an effective HIV vaccine strategy.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The HIV-1 fusion peptide, comprising 15 to 20 hydrophobic residues at the N terminus of the Env-gp41 subunit, is a critical component of the virus-cell entry machinery. Here, we report the identification of a neutralizing antibody, N123-VRC34.01, which targets the fusion peptide and blocks viral entry by inhibiting conformational changes in gp120 and gp41 subunits of Env required for entry. Crystal structures of N123-VRC34.01 liganded to the fusion peptide, and to the full Env trimer, revealed an epitope consisting of the N-terminal eight residues of the gp41 fusion peptide and glycan N88 of gp120, and molecular dynamics showed that the N-terminal portion of the fusion peptide can be solvent-exposed. These results reveal the fusion peptide to be a neutralizing antibody epitope and thus a target for vaccine design.
Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Antibodies with ontogenies from VH1-2 or VH1-46-germline genes dominate the broadly neutralizing response against the CD4-binding site (CD4bs) on HIV-1. Here, we define with longitudinal sampling from time-of-infection the development of a VH1-46-derived antibody lineage that matured to neutralize 90% of HIV-1 isolates. Structures of lineage antibodies CH235 (week 41 from time-of-infection, 18% breadth), CH235.9 (week 152, 77%), and CH235.12 (week 323, 90%) demonstrated the maturing epitope to focus on the conformationally invariant portion of the CD4bs. Similarities between CH235 lineage and five unrelated CD4bs lineages in epitope focusing, length-of-time to develop breadth, and extraordinary level of somatic hypermutation suggested commonalities in maturation among all CD4bs antibodies. Fortunately, the required CH235-lineage hypermutation appeared substantially guided by the intrinsic mutability of the VH1-46 gene, which closely resembled VH1-2. We integrated our CH235-lineage findings with a second broadly neutralizing lineage and HIV-1 co-evolution to suggest a vaccination strategy for inducing both lineages.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Finding an effective human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccine remains a major global health priority. In a phase I/II, placebo-controlled trial, healthy, HIV-1-negative adults were randomized to receive one of 5 vaccine regimens: LIPO-5 (combination of 5 lipopeptides) alone (250 μg), ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452) alone, or 3 groups of ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452) followed by ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452) plus LIPO-5 (250, 750, and 2,500 μg). Only 73/174 participants (42%) received all four vaccinations due to a study halt related to myelitis. There were no significant differences in systemic reactions between groups or in local reactogenicity between groups receiving ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452). Significant differences in local reactogenicity occurred between groups receiving LIPO-5 (P ≤ 0.05). Gag and Env antibodies were undetectable by ELISA 2 weeks after the fourth vaccination for all but one recipient. Antibodies to Gag and Env were present in 32% and 24% of recipients of ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452) alone and in 47% and 35% of ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452)+LIPO recipients, respectively. Coadministration of LIPO-5 did not significantly increase the response rate compared to ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452) alone, nor was there a significant relationship between dose and antibody responses among ALVAC-HIV (vCP1452)+LIPO groups. Over 90% of study participants had no positive gamma interferon (IFN-γ) enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay (ELISpot) responses to any peptide pool at any time point. The study was halted due to a case of myelitis possibly related to the LIPO-5 vaccine; this case of myelitis remains an isolated event. In general, there was no appreciable cell-mediated immunity detected in response to the vaccines used in this study, and antibody responses were limited. The clinical trial is registered on ClinicalTrials.gov with registry number NCT00076063.
Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.