HPTN Bibliographic Record

Rademeyer C, Moore PL, Taylor N, Martin DP, Choge IA, Gray ES, Sheppard HW, Gray C, Morris L, Williamson C; HIVNET 028 study team. Genetic characteristics of HIV-1 subtype C envelopes inducing cross-neutralizing antibodies. Virology. 2007, 368: 172-81 PMID:17632196.
This study aimed to characterize genetic features of HIV-1 subtype C envelope glycoproteins capable of eliciting cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies during natural infections. The gp160 sequences were determined for 36 HIV-1 subtype C isolates (donor viruses) from infected individuals residing in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa, whose sera displayed a range of cross-neutralizing activities against a panel of 5 subtype C and 5 subtype B viruses (panel viruses). Hierarchical clustering analysis of neutralization data of the panel viruses predicted phylogenetic relationships between subtype B and C panel viruses, suggesting some subtype-specific neutralization determinants. A similar comparison of subtype C donor viruses showed no significant correlation; however of three donor sequence pairs resolvable by phylogenetic analysis, two were also associated within the neutralization clustering dendrogram, suggesting that closely related viruses may elicit antibodies targeting common neutralization determinants. Significantly, viruses that had shorter V1-V4 loops induced antibodies that showed more neutralization breadth against the subtype C panel viruses (p=0.0135). This study indicates that that some structural features of envelope, such as shorter variable loops, may facilitate the elicitation of cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies in natural infections. Collectively these data provide some insights into design features of an envelope immunogen aimed at inducing neutralizing antibodies