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The role that broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) play in natural clearance of human hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we investigate the mechanism by which bNAbs, isolated from two humans who spontaneously cleared HCV infection, contribute to HCV control. Using viral gene sequences amplified from longitudinal plasma of the two subjects, we found that these bNAbs, which target the front layer of the HCV envelope protein E2, neutralized most autologous HCV strains. Acquisition of resistance to bNAbs by some autologous strains was accompanied by progressive loss of E2 protein function, and temporally associated with HCV clearance. These data demonstrate that bNAbs can mediate clearance of human HCV infection by neutralizing infecting strains and driving escaped viruses to an unfit state. These immunopathologic events distinguish HCV from HIV-1 and suggest that development of an HCV vaccine may be achievable.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
While the HIV-1-glycan shield is known to shelter Env from the humoral immune response, its quantitative impact on antibody elicitation has been unclear. Here, we use targeted deglycosylation to measure the impact of the glycan shield on elicitation of antibodies against the CD4 supersite. We engineered diverse Env trimers with select glycans removed proximal to the CD4 supersite, characterized their structures and glycosylation, and immunized guinea pigs and rhesus macaques. Immunizations yielded little neutralization against wild-type viruses but potent CD4-supersite neutralization (titers 1: >1,000,000 against four-glycan-deleted autologous viruses with over 90% breadth against four-glycan-deleted heterologous strains exhibiting tier 2 neutralization character). To a first approximation, the immunogenicity of the glycan-shielded protein surface was negligible, with Env-elicited neutralization (ID) proportional to the exponential of the protein-surface area accessible to antibody. Based on these high titers and exponential relationship, we propose site-selective deglycosylated trimers as priming immunogens to increase the frequency of site-targeting antibodies.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
A goal for an HIV-1 vaccine is to overcome virus variability by inducing broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs). One key target of bnAbs is the glycan-polypeptide at the base of the envelope (Env) third variable loop (V3). We have designed and synthesized a homogeneous minimal immunogen with high-mannose glycans reflective of a native Env V3-glycan bnAb epitope (Man-V3). V3-glycan bnAbs bound to Man-V3 glycopeptide and native-like gp140 trimers with similar affinities. Fluorophore-labeled Man-V3 glycopeptides bound to bnAb memory B cells and were able to be used to isolate a V3-glycan bnAb from an HIV-1-infected individual. In rhesus macaques, immunization with Man-V3 induced V3-glycan-targeted antibodies. Thus, the Man-V3 glycopeptide closely mimics an HIV-1 V3-glycan bnAb epitope and can be used to isolate V3-glycan bnAbs.
Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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.
Detailed studies of the broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) that underlie the best available examples of the humoral immune response to HIV are providing important information for the development of therapies and prophylaxis for HIV-1 infection. Here, we report a CD4-binding site (CD4bs) antibody, named N6, that potently neutralized 98% of HIV-1 isolates, including 16 of 20 that were resistant to other members of its class. N6 evolved a mode of recognition such that its binding was not impacted by the loss of individual contacts across the immunoglobulin heavy chain. In addition, structural analysis revealed that the orientation of N6 permitted it to avoid steric clashes with glycans, which is a common mechanism of resistance. Thus, an HIV-1-specific bNAb can achieve potent, near-pan neutralization of HIV-1, making it an attractive candidate for use in therapy and prophylaxis.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging mosquito-transmitted flavivirus that can cause severe disease, including congenital birth defects during pregnancy. To develop candidate therapeutic agents against ZIKV, we isolated a panel of human monoclonal antibodies from subjects that were previously infected with ZIKV. We show that a subset of antibodies recognize diverse epitopes on the envelope (E) protein and exhibit potent neutralizing activity. One of the most inhibitory antibodies, ZIKV-117, broadly neutralized infection of ZIKV strains corresponding to African and Asian-American lineages. Epitope mapping studies revealed that ZIKV-117 recognized a unique quaternary epitope on the E protein dimer-dimer interface. We evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of ZIKV-117 in pregnant and non-pregnant mice. Monoclonal antibody treatment markedly reduced tissue pathology, placental and fetal infection, and mortality in mice. Thus, neutralizing human antibodies can protect against maternal-fetal transmission, infection and disease, and reveal important determinants for structure-based rational vaccine design efforts.
Monkeypox (MPXV) and cowpox (CPXV) are emerging agents that cause severe human infections on an intermittent basis, and variola virus (VARV) has potential for use as an agent of bioterror. Vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) has been used therapeutically to treat severe orthopoxvirus infections but is in short supply. We generated a large panel of orthopoxvirus-specific human monoclonal antibodies (Abs) from immune subjects to investigate the molecular basis of broadly neutralizing antibody responses for diverse orthopoxviruses. Detailed analysis revealed the principal neutralizing antibody specificities that are cross-reactive for VACV, CPXV, MPXV, and VARV and that are determinants of protection in murine challenge models. Optimal protection following respiratory or systemic infection required a mixture of Abs that targeted several membrane proteins, including proteins on enveloped and mature virion forms of virus. This work reveals orthopoxvirus targets for human Abs that mediate cross-protective immunity and identifies new candidate Ab therapeutic mixtures to replace VIG.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (HMPV) are paramyxoviruses that are responsible for substantial human health burden, particularly in children and the elderly. The fusion (F) glycoproteins are major targets of the neutralizing antibody response and studies have mapped dominant antigenic sites in F. Here we grafted a major neutralizing site of RSV F, recognized by the prophylactic monoclonal antibody palivizumab, onto HMPV F, generating a chimeric protein displaying epitopes of both viruses. We demonstrate that the resulting chimeric protein (RPM-1) is recognized by both anti-RSV and anti-HMPV F neutralizing antibodies indicating that it can be used to map the epitope specificity of antibodies raised against both viruses. Mice immunized with the RPM-1 chimeric antigen generate robust neutralizing antibody responses to MPV but weak or no cross-reactive recognition of RSV F, suggesting that grafting of the single palivizumab epitope stimulates a comparatively limited antibody response. The RPM-1 protein provides a new tool for characterizing the immune responses resulting from RSV and HMPV infections and provides insights into the requirements for developing a chimeric subunit vaccine that could induce robust and balanced immunity to both virus infections.
The role of affinity in determining neutralizing potency of mAbs directed against viruses is not well understood. We investigated the kinetic, structural, and functional advantage conferred by individual naturally occurring somatic mutations in the Ab H chain V region of Fab19, a well-described neutralizing human mAb directed to respiratory syncytial virus. Comparison of the affinity-matured Ab Fab19 with recombinant Fab19 Abs that were variants containing reverted amino acids from the inferred unmutated ancestor sequence revealed the molecular basis for affinity maturation of this Ab. Enhanced binding was achieved through mutations in the third H chain CDR (HCDR3) that conferred a markedly faster on-rate and a desirable increase in antiviral neutralizing activity. In contrast, most somatic mutations in the HCDR1 and HCDR2 regions did not significantly enhance Ag binding or antiviral activity. We observed a direct relationship between the measured association rate (Kon) for F protein and antiviral activity. Modeling studies of the structure of the Ag-Ab complex suggested the HCDR3 loop interacts with the antigenic site A surface loop of the respiratory syncytial virus F protein, previously shown to contain the epitope for this Ab by experimentation. These studies define a direct relationship of affinity and neutralizing activity for a viral glycoprotein-specific human mAb.