Research Article

A Potent and Broad Neutralizing Antibody Recognizes and Penetrates the HIV Glycan Shield

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Science  13 Oct 2011:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1213256


The HIV envelope (Env) protein gp120 is protected from antibody recognition by a dense glycan shield. However, several of the recently identified PGT broadly neutralizing antibodies appear to interact directly with the HIV glycan coat. Crystal structures of Fabs PGT 127 and 128 with Man9 at 1.65 and 1.29 Å resolution, respectively, and glycan binding data delineate a specific high mannose binding site. Fab PGT 128 complexed with a fully glycosylated gp120 outer domain at 3.25 Å reveals that the antibody penetrates the glycan shield and recognizes two conserved glycans as well as a short β-strand segment of the gp120 V3 loop, accounting for its high binding affinity and broad specificify. Furthermore, our data suggest that the high neutralization potency of PGT 127 and 128 IgGs may be mediated by cross-linking Env trimers on the viral surface.