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Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) are rarely elicited by current human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccine designs, but the presence of bNAbs in naturally infected individuals may be associated with high plasma viral loads, suggesting that the magnitude, duration, and diversity of viral exposure may contribute to the development of bNAbs. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of a panel of human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from two subjects who developed broadly neutralizing autologous antibody responses during HIV-1 infection. In both subjects, we identified collections of mAbs that exhibited specificity only to a few autologous envelopes (Envs), with some mAbs exhibiting specificity only to a subset of Envs within the quasispecies of a particular sample at one time point. Neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) isolated from these subjects mapped mostly to epitopes in the Env V3 loop region and the CD4 binding site. None of the individual neutralizing mAbs recovered exhibited the cumulative breadth of neutralization present in the serum of the subjects. Surprisingly, however, the activity of polyclonal mixtures comprising individual mAbs that each possessed limited neutralizing activity, could achieve increased breadth of neutralizing activity against autologous isolates. While a single broadly neutralizing antibody targeting one epitope can mediate neutralization breadth, the findings presented here suggest that a cooperative polyclonal process mediated by diverse antibodies with more limited breadth targeting multiple epitopes also can achieve neutralization breadth against HIV-1.
OBJECTIVE - Some antiretroviral therapy (ART) and HIV itself confer metabolic risk, perhaps through altered mitochondrial function and adipokines. In AIDS Clinical Trials Group study A5224s, adipose mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) levels decreased on ART, and electron transport chain complex I (CI) and complex IV (CIV) activity decreased. Another study found decreased serum adiponectin on ART with mtDNA mutation m.10398A>G. We hypothesized that decreased adipose tissue mitochondrial function would be associated with lower adiponectin and insulin sensitivity on ART, and m.10398G would influence these changes.
DESIGN - Retrospective analysis of an ART-naive substudy population from A5224s.
METHODS - Analyses included adipose mtDNA levels, CI and CIV activity by immunoassay, visceral adipose tissue by computed tomography, and fasting serum glucose at week 0 and week 96 of ART. Fasting insulin and adiponectin were measured from cryopreserved serum using multiplex bead array. Homeostasis model assessment-2 (HOMA2)-IR and HOMA2-%B estimated insulin resistance and β-cell function, respectively. The m.10398A>G mtDNA variant was available from existing genetic data.
RESULTS - Thirty-seven participants had adipose biopsies at week 0 and week 96. Percent decreases in CIV activity and adiponectin were correlated (Spearman rho 0.41; P = 0.01); this association persisted after controlling for age, sex, body mass index, or visceral adipose tissue in single-covariate regression. HOMA2-IR correlated with decreased CIV (-0.44; P = 0.01) and CI (-0.34; P = 0.05) activity. Among 12 non-Hispanic white persons, m.10398G was associated with decreased adiponectin (P = 0.04).
CONCLUSIONS - Decreased adipose mitochondrial activity correlated with changes in adiponectin and glucose homeostasis on ART. Previous findings that a mtDNA mutation modulates adiponectin levels in persons with HIV were replicated.
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.
Some HIV-associated complications involve mitochondrial dysfunction and may be less common in individuals with iron-loading HFE (hemochromatosis gene) variants. We evaluated HFE 845A and 187G alleles in relation to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 85 individuals with HIV infection on uninterrupted antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 15 or more consecutive weeks. Carriers of HFE gene variants (N = 24) had significantly higher mtDNA levels than noncarriers (N = 61), after adjusting for age, race, sex, and type of ART [adjusted β-coefficient 297, p-value < .001 for at least one HFE variant], but mtDNA declined among all individuals on study during 48 weeks on ART. Increased cellular mtDNA content may represent a compensatory response to mitochondrial stress that is influenced by iron-loading HFE variants.
Antigen multimerization on a nanoparticle can result in improved neutralizing antibody responses. A platform that has been successfully used for displaying antigens from a number of different viruses is ferritin, a self-assembling protein nanoparticle that allows the attachment of multiple copies (24 monomers or 8 trimers) of a single antigen. Here, we design two-component ferritin variants that allow the attachment of two different antigens on a single particle in a defined ratio and geometric pattern. The two-component ferritin was specifically designed for trimeric antigens, accepting four trimers per particle for each antigen, and was tested with antigens derived from HIV-1 envelope (Env) and influenza hemagglutinin (HA). Particle formation and the presence of native-like antigen conformation were confirmed through negative-stain electron microscopy and antibody-antigen binding analysis. Immunizations in guinea pigs with two-component ferritin particles, displaying diverse Env, HA, or both antigens, elicited neutralizing antibody responses against the respective viruses. The results provide proof-of-principle for the self-assembly of a two-component nanoparticle as a general technology for multimeric presentation of trimeric antigens.
Computational protein design has been successful in modeling fixed backbone proteins in a single conformation. However, when modeling large ensembles of flexible proteins, current methods in protein design have been insufficient. Large barriers in the energy landscape are difficult to traverse while redesigning a protein sequence, and as a result current design methods only sample a fraction of available sequence space. We propose a new computational approach that combines traditional structure-based modeling using the Rosetta software suite with machine learning and integer linear programming to overcome limitations in the Rosetta sampling methods. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this method, which we call BROAD, by benchmarking the performance on increasing predicted breadth of anti-HIV antibodies. We use this novel method to increase predicted breadth of naturally-occurring antibody VRC23 against a panel of 180 divergent HIV viral strains and achieve 100% predicted binding against the panel. In addition, we compare the performance of this method to state-of-the-art multistate design in Rosetta and show that we can outperform the existing method significantly. We further demonstrate that sequences recovered by this method recover known binding motifs of broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies. Finally, our approach is general and can be extended easily to other protein systems. Although our modeled antibodies were not tested in vitro, we predict that these variants would have greatly increased breadth compared to the wild-type antibody.
Highly effective HIV-1-neutralizing antibodies could have utility in the prevention or treatment of HIV-1 infection. To improve the potency of 10E8, an antibody capable of near pan-HIV-1 neutralization, we engineered 10E8-surface mutants and screened for improved neutralization. Variants with the largest functional enhancements involved the addition of hydrophobic or positively charged residues, which were positioned to interact with viral membrane lipids or viral glycan-sialic acids, respectively. In both cases, the site of improvement was spatially separated from the region of antibody mediating molecular contact with the protein component of the antigen, thereby improving peripheral semi-specific interactions while maintaining unmodified dominant contacts responsible for broad recognition. The optimized 10E8 antibody, with mutations to phenylalanine and arginine, retained the extraordinary breadth of 10E8 but with ∼10-fold increased potency. We propose surface-matrix screening as a general method to improve antibodies, with improved semi-specific interactions between antibody and antigen enabling increased potency without compromising breadth.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
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.
Select CMV epitopes drive life-long CD8 T cell memory inflation, but the extent of CD4 memory inflation is poorly studied. CD4 T cells specific for human CMV (HCMV) are elevated in HIV HCMV subjects. To determine whether HCMV epitope-specific CD4 T cell memory inflation occurs during HIV infection, we used HLA-DR7 (DRB1*07:01) tetramers loaded with the glycoprotein B DYSNTHSTRYV (DYS) epitope to characterize circulating CD4 T cells in coinfected HLA-DR7 long-term nonprogressor HIV subjects with undetectable HCMV plasma viremia. DYS-specific CD4 T cells were inflated among these HIV subjects compared with those from an HIV HCMV HLA-DR7 cohort or with HLA-DR7-restricted CD4 T cells from the HIV-coinfected cohort that were specific for epitopes of HCMV phosphoprotein-65, tetanus toxoid precursor, EBV nuclear Ag 2, or HIV gag protein. Inflated DYS-specific CD4 T cells consisted of effector memory or effector memory-RA subsets with restricted TCRβ usage and nearly monoclonal CDR3 containing novel conserved amino acids. Expression of this near-monoclonal TCR in a Jurkat cell-transfection system validated fine DYS specificity. Inflated cells were polyfunctional, not senescent, and displayed high ex vivo levels of granzyme B, CXCR1, CD38, or HLA-DR but less often coexpressed CD38 and HLA-DR The inflation mechanism did not involve apoptosis suppression, increased proliferation, or HIV gag cross-reactivity. Instead, the findings suggest that intermittent or chronic expression of epitopes, such as DYS, drive inflation of activated CD4 T cells that home to endothelial cells and have the potential to mediate cytotoxicity and vascular disease.
Copyright © 2017 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.