Research Article

HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies induced by native-like envelope trimers

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Science  18 Jun 2015:
DOI: 10.1126/science.aac4223

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A challenge for HIV-1 immunogen design is inducing neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) against neutralization-resistant (Tier-2) viruses that dominate human transmissions. We show that a soluble recombinant HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein trimer that adopts a native conformation (BG505 SOSIP.664) induced NAbs potently against the sequence-matched Tier-2 virus in rabbits and similar but weaker responses in macaques. The trimer also consistently induced cross-reactive NAbs against more sensitive (Tier-1) viruses. Tier-2 NAbs recognized conformational epitopes that differed between animals and in some cases overlapped with those recognized by broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs), whereas Tier-1 responses targeted linear V3 epitopes. A second trimer, B41 SOSIP.664, also induced a strong autologous Tier-2 NAb response in rabbits. Thus, native-like trimers represent a promising starting point for developing HIV-1 vaccines aimed at inducing bNAbs.

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