Rational Design of Envelope Identifies Broadly Neutralizing Human Monoclonal Antibodies to HIV-1

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Science  08 Jul 2010:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1187659


Cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) are found in the sera of many HIV-1–infected subjects, but the virologic basis of their neutralization remains poorly understood. We used knowledge of HIV-1 envelope (Env) structure to develop antigenically resurfaced glycoproteins specific for the structurally conserved site of CD4 receptor binding. These probes were used to identify sera with NAbs to the CD4-binding site (CD4bs) and to isolate individual B cells from such an HIV-1–infected donor. By expressing immunoglobulin genes from individual cells, we identified three monoclonal antibodies, including a pair of somatic variants that neutralized over 90% of circulating HIV-1 isolates. Exceptionally broad HIV-1 neutralization can be achieved with individual antibodies targeted to the functionally conserved CD4bs of gp120, an important insight for future HIV-1 vaccine design.