Human Ig knockin mice to study the development and regulation of HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies.
A major challenge for HIV-1 vaccine research is developing a successful immunization approach for inducing broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs). A key shortcoming in meeting this challenge has been the lack of animal models capable of identifying impediments limiting bnAb induction and ranking vaccine strategies for their ability to promote bnAb development. Since 2010, immunoglobulin knockin (KI) technology, involving inserting functional rearranged human variable exons into the mouse IgH and IgL loci has been used to express bnAbs in mice. This approach has allowed immune tolerance mechanisms limiting bnAb production to be elucidated and strategies to overcome such limitations to be evaluated. From these studies, along with the wealth of knowledge afforded by analyses of recombinant Ig-based bnAb structures, it became apparent that key functional features of bnAbs often are problematic for their elicitation in mice by classic vaccine paradigms, necessitating more iterative testing of new vaccine concepts. In this regard, bnAb KI models expressing deduced precursor V(D)J rearrangements of mature bnAbs or unrearranged germline V, D, J segments (that can be assembled into variable region exons that encode bnAb precursors), have been engineered to evaluate novel immunogens/regimens for effectiveness in driving bnAb responses. One promising approach emerging from such studies is the ability of sequentially administered, modified immunogens (designed to bind progressively more mature bnAb precursors) to initiate affinity maturation. Here, we review insights gained from bnAb KI studies regarding the regulation and induction of bnAbs, and discuss new Ig KI methodologies to manipulate the production and/or expression of bnAbs in vivo, to further facilitate vaccine-guided bnAb induction studies.
Verkoczy, L; Alt, FW; Tian, M
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