The role of the third beta strand in gp120 conformation and neutralization sensitivity of the HIV-1 primary isolate DH012.
Neutralization of HIV-1 primary isolates has been a tremendous challenge for AIDS vaccine development. Here, we identify a single amino acid change (T198P) in gp120 that alters the neutralization sensitivity of the primary isolate DH012 to antibodies against multiple neutralization epitopes that include the V3, CD4-induced, and CD4 binding sites in gp120. This mutation is located in the V1/V2 stem region that forms the third beta strand (beta3) of the bridging sheet of gp120. The conformation of variable loops, especially V1/V2 and V3, was proposed to regulate the accessibility of these neutralization epitopes. The results of this study indicate a direct association between the V1/V2 and V3 loops of DH012 gp120. The single amino acid mutation T198P in the beta3 severely compromises the interaction between the V1/V2 and V3 loops. These results suggest that interaction of V1/V2 and V3 can mask the neutralization epitopes and that the beta3 plays a critical role in determining the neutralization sensitivity by modulating the interaction. This study provides an insight into why primary isolates are relatively resistant to antibody neutralization and might facilitate the development of anti-HIV strategies against HIV-1 infection.
Zhu, CB; Zhu, L; Holz-Smith, S; Matthews, TJ; Chen, CH
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