Research Article

Recapitulation of HIV-1 Env-antibody coevolution in macaques leading to neutralization breadth

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Science  19 Nov 2020:
eabd2638
DOI: 10.1126/science.abd2638

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Abstract

Neutralizing antibodies elicited by HIV-1 coevolve with viral envelope proteins (Env) in distinctive patterns, in some cases acquiring substantial breadth. We report that primary HIV-1 envelope proteins—when expressed by simian-human immunodeficiency viruses in rhesus macaques—elicited patterns of Env-antibody coevolution strikingly similar to those in humans. This included conserved immunogenetic, structural and chemical solutions to epitope recognition and precise Env-am ino acid substitutions, insertions and deletions leading to virus persistence. The structure of one rhesus antibody, capable of neutralizing 49% of a 208-strain panel, revealed a V2-apex mode of recognition like that of human bNAbs PGT145/PCT64-35S. Another rhesus antibody bound the CD4-binding site by CD4 mimicry mirroring human bNAbs 8ANC131/CH235/VRC01. Virus-antibody coevolution in macaques can thus recapitulate developmental features of human bNAbs, thereby guiding HIV-1 immunogen design.

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