Identification of amino acid substitutions associated with neutralization phenotype in the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 subtype C gp120.
Neutralizing antibodies (Nabs) are thought to play an important role in prevention and control of HIV-1 infection and should be targeted by an AIDS vaccine. It is critical to understand how HIV-1 induces Nabs by analyzing viral sequences in both tested viruses and sera. Neutralization susceptibility to antibodies in autologous and heterologous plasma was determined for multiple Envs (3-6) from each of 15 subtype-C-infected individuals. Heterologous neutralization was divided into two distinct groups: plasma with strong, cross-reactive neutralization (n=9) and plasma with weak neutralization (n=6). Plasma with cross-reactive heterologous Nabs also more potently neutralized contemporaneous autologous viruses. Analysis of Env sequences in plasma from both groups revealed a three-amino-acid substitution pattern in the V4 region that was associated with greater neutralization potency and breadth. Identification of such potential neutralization signatures may have important implications for the development of HIV-1 vaccines capable of inducing Nabs to subtype C HIV-1.
Kirchherr, JL; Hamilton, J; Lu, X; Gnanakaran, S; Muldoon, M; Daniels, M; Kasongo, W; Chalwe, V; Mulenga, C; Mwananyanda, L; Musonda, RM; Yuan, X; Montefiori, DC; Korber, BT; Haynes, BF; Gao, F
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