The ability to readily elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV-1 remains elusive. We and others have hypothesized that interaction of the viral envelope glycoprotein (Env, gp120-gp41) with its receptor molecules could enhance the exposure of conserved epitopes that may facilitate the elicitation of broadly neutralizing antibodies. The Env-CD4-coreceptor complexes mediate HIV-1 entry into cells and serve as a major target for inhibitors of this process. To begin to evaluate their potential also as vaccine immunogens we produced relatively large amounts of complexes of purified recombinant soluble truncated Env, gp14089.6 or gp12089.6, with CD4 and CCR5 or CXCR4. We found that gp140(gp120)-CD4-CCR5 complexes are stable and immunogenic in mice transgenic for human CD4 and CCR5. They elicited anti-gp120 and anti-gp140 antibodies that inhibited an heterologous primary HIV-1 isolate (JR-FL) with two- to threefold higher neutralizing activity than those elicited by gp120 and gp140. The antibodies elicited by the complexes competed better with the antibodies X5 and CG10 but not with b12 for binding to gp120 and gp120-CD4 complexes compared to those elicited with gp140(120) alone. These findings suggest that stable purified Env-CD4-CCR5(CXCR4) complexes can be produced in relatively large amount sufficient for their further characterization that may help in the development of novel vaccines candidates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- General Immunology and Microbiology
- General Veterinary
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases