An inducible HIV type 1 gp41 HR-2 peptide-binding site on HIV type 1 envelope gp120.
Synthetic peptides of sequences within the HIV-1 gp41 heptad repeat-regions (HR-1 and HR-2) can effectively inhibit cell fusion and viral entry. DP178 (T-20), an HR-2 peptide, acts by inhibiting the association between HR-1 and HR-2, thereby interfering with HIV-1 fusion and viral entry. HR-2 peptide binding is predicted to be an important indicator of the presence of Env gp41 fusion intermediate conformation. A stabilized HR-2/Env conjugate might be an HIV-1 vaccine candidate and have the potential for inducing antibodies against transiently exposed epitopes on HIV-1 Env. To explore the possibility of design of HR-2 stabilized-HIV-1 immunogens, we studied the ability of HIV-1 Env to bind to HR-2 peptides. Using surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-binding assays and precipitation of soluble Env gp120 proteins with HR-2 peptide DP178, we have found that there is an HR-2 peptide-binding site on soluble HIV-1 recombinant gp120. Binding of DP178 was induced by sCD4 and by the anti-gp120 human mAb A32. The induction of DP178 binding was inhibited > 80% by the HIV-1 coreceptor-binding site mAb 17b. Binding of DP178 to gp120 was also inhibited by gp120 C4 peptides with sequences that are centrally located within the HIV-1 coreceptor-binding site. Thus, in addition to interactions with the gp41 HR-1 region, the fusion inhibitor peptide DP178 binds to triggered soluble HIV-1 recombinant gp120 following its interaction with sCD4 or CD4 mimic mAb A32. This may prove to be an important consideration when designing an HIV vaccine that utilizes constrained HIV Env proteins.
Alam, SM; Paleos, CA; Liao, H-X; Scearce, R; Robinson, J; Haynes, BF
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