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Isolation of a Human Anti-HIV gp41 Membrane Proximal Region Neutralizing Antibody by Antigen-Specific Single B Cell Sorting

Morris, Lynn; Chen, Xi; Alam, Munir; Tomaras, Georgia D.; Zhang, Ruijun; Marshall, Dawn J.; Chen, Bing; Parks, Robert; Foulger, Andrew; Jaeger, Frederick; Donathan, Michele; Bilska, Mira; Gray, Elin S.; Abdool Karim, Salim; Kepler, Thomas B.; Whitesides, John; Montefiori, David; Moody, M. Anthony; Liao, Hua-Xin; Haynes, Barton F.

Broadly neutralizing antibodies are not commonly produced in HIV-1 infected individuals nor by experimental HIV-1 vaccines. When these antibodies do occur, it is important to be able to isolate and characterize them to provide clues for vaccine design. CAP206 is a South African subtype C HIV-1-infected individual previously shown to have broadly neutralizing plasma antibodies targeting the envelope gp41 distal membrane proximal external region (MPER). We have now used a fluoresceinated peptide tetramer antigen with specific cell sorting to isolate a human neutralizing monoclonal antibody (mAb) against the HIV-1 envelope gp41 MPER. The isolated recombinant mAb, CAP206-CH12, utilized a portion of the distal MPER (HXB2 amino acid residues, 673-680) and neutralized a subset of HIV-1 pseudoviruses sensitive to CAP206 plasma antibodies. Interestingly, this mAb was polyreactive and used the same germ-line variable heavy (VH1-69) and variable kappa light chain (VK3-20) gene families as the prototype broadly neutralizing anti-MPER mAb, 4E10 (residues 672-680). These data indicate that there are multiple immunogenic targets in the C-terminus of the MPER of HIV-1 gp41 envelope and suggests that gp41 neutralizing epitopes may interact with a restricted set of naive B cells during HIV-1 infection.

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Epidemiology
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February 7, 2012