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1.  Antibody Gene Transfer for HIV Immunoprophylaxis 
Nature immunology  2013;14(1):1-5.
Antibody gene transfer, which involves the delivery of genes that encode potent, broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies, is a promising new strategy to prevent HIV infection. A satellite symposium at the AIDS Vaccine 2012 conference brought together many of the groups working in this field.
PMCID: PMC4560170  PMID: 23238748
2.  Antibody engineering for increased potency, breadth and half-life 
Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS  2015;10(3):151-159.
Purpose of review
This review highlights recent developments in HIV-1 antibody engineering and discusses the effects of increased polyreactivity on serum half-lives of engineered antibodies.
Recent findings
Recent studies have uncovered a wealth of information about the relationship between the sequences and efficacies of anti-HIV-1 antibodies through a combination of bioinformatics, structural characterization and in vivo studies. This knowledge has stimulated efforts to enhance antibody breadth and potency for therapeutic use. Although some engineered antibodies have shown increased polyreactivity and short half-lives, promising efforts are circumventing these problems.
Antibodies are desirable as therapeutics due to their ability to recognize targets with both specificity and high affinity. Furthermore, the ability of antibodies to stimulate Fc-mediated effector functions can increase their utility. Thus, mAbs have become central to strategies for the treatment of various diseases. Using both targeted and library-based approaches, antibodies can be engineered to improve their therapeutic properties. This article will discuss recent antibody engineering efforts to improve the breadth and potency of anti-HIV-1 antibodies. The polyreactivity of engineered HIV-1 bNAbs and the effect on serum half-life will be explored along with strategies to overcome problems introduced by engineering antibodies. Finally, advances in creating bispecific anti-HIV-1 reagents are discussed.
PMCID: PMC4465343  PMID: 25760931
antibody engineering; bispecific reagents; breadth; HIV-1; polyreactivity; potency
3.  CATNAP: a tool to compile, analyze and tally neutralizing antibody panels 
Nucleic Acids Research  2015;43(Web Server issue):W213-W219.
CATNAP (Compile, Analyze and Tally NAb Panels) is a new web server at Los Alamos HIV Database, created to respond to the newest advances in HIV neutralizing antibody research. It is a comprehensive platform focusing on neutralizing antibody potencies in conjunction with viral sequences. CATNAP integrates neutralization and sequence data from published studies, and allows users to analyze that data for each HIV Envelope protein sequence position and each antibody. The tool has multiple data retrieval and analysis options. As input, the user can pick specific antibodies and viruses, choose a panel from a published study, or supply their own data. The output superimposes neutralization panel data, virus epidemiological data, and viral protein sequence alignments on one page, and provides further information and analyses. The user can highlight alignment positions, or select antibody contact residues and view position-specific information from the HIV databases. The tool calculates tallies of amino acids and N-linked glycosylation motifs, counts of antibody-sensitive and -resistant viruses in conjunction with each amino acid or N-glycosylation motif, and performs Fisher's exact test to detect potential positive or negative amino acid associations for the selected antibody. Website name: CATNAP (Compile, Analyze and Tally NAb Panels). Website address:
PMCID: PMC4489231  PMID: 26044712
4.  Enhanced HIV-1 immunotherapy by commonly arising antibodies that target virus escape variants 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2014;211(12):2361-2372.
Klein et al. find that frequently arising antibodies that normally fail to control HIV-1 infection can synergize with passively transferred bNAbs to prevent the emergence of bNAb viral escape variants.
Antibody-mediated immunotherapy is effective in humanized mice when combinations of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) are used that target nonoverlapping sites on the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope. In contrast, single bNAbs can control simian–human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) infection in immune-competent macaques, suggesting that the host immune response might also contribute to the control of viremia. Here, we investigate how the autologous antibody response in intact hosts can contribute to the success of immunotherapy. We find that frequently arising antibodies that normally fail to control HIV-1 infection can synergize with passively administered bNAbs by preventing the emergence of bNAb viral escape variants.
PMCID: PMC4235636  PMID: 25385756
5.  Neutralization Properties of Simian Immunodeficiency Viruses Infecting Chimpanzees and Gorillas 
mBio  2015;6(2):e00296-15.
Broadly cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies (bNabs) represent powerful tools to combat human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. Here, we examined whether HIV-1-specific bNabs are capable of cross-neutralizing distantly related simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs) infecting central (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) (SIVcpzPtt) and eastern (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) (SIVcpzPts) chimpanzees (n = 11) as well as western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) (SIVgor) (n = 1). We found that bNabs directed against the CD4 binding site (n = 10), peptidoglycans at the base of variable loop 3 (V3) (n = 5), and epitopes at the interface of surface (gp120) and membrane-bound (gp41) envelope glycoproteins (n = 5) failed to neutralize SIVcpz and SIVgor strains. In addition, apex V2-directed bNabs (n = 3) as well as llama-derived (heavy chain only) antibodies (n = 6) recognizing both the CD4 binding site and gp41 epitopes were either completely inactive or neutralized only a fraction of SIVcpzPtt strains. In contrast, one antibody targeting the membrane-proximal external region (MPER) of gp41 (10E8), functional CD4 and CCR5 receptor mimetics (eCD4-Ig, eCD4-Igmim2, CD4-218.3-E51, and CD4-218.3-E51-mim2), as well as mono- and bispecific anti-human CD4 (iMab and LM52) and CCR5 (PRO140, PRO140-10E8) receptor antibodies neutralized >90% of SIVcpz and SIVgor strains with low-nanomolar (0.13 to 8.4 nM) potency. Importantly, the latter antibodies blocked virus entry not only in TZM-bl cells but also in Cf2Th cells expressing chimpanzee CD4 and CCR5 and neutralized SIVcpz in chimpanzee CD4+ T cells, with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) ranging from 3.6 to 40.5 nM. These findings provide new insight into the protective capacity of anti-HIV-1 bNabs and identify candidates for further development to combat SIVcpz infection.
SIVcpz is widespread in wild-living chimpanzees and can cause AIDS-like immunopathology and clinical disease. HIV-1 infection of humans can be controlled by antiretroviral therapy; however, treatment of wild-living African apes with current drug regimens is not feasible. Nonetheless, it may be possible to curb the spread of SIVcpz in select ape communities using vectored immunoprophylaxis and/or therapy. Here, we show that antibodies and antibody-like inhibitors developed to combat HIV-1 infection in humans are capable of neutralizing genetically diverse SIVcpz and SIVgor strains with considerable breadth and potency, including in primary chimpanzee CD4+ T cells. These reagents provide an important first step toward translating intervention strategies currently developed to treat and prevent AIDS in humans to SIV-infected apes.
PMCID: PMC4453581  PMID: 25900654
6.  Structural Insights on the Role of Antibodies in HIV-1 Vaccine and Therapy 
Cell  2014;156(4):633-648.
Despite 30 years of effort, there is no effective vaccine for HIV-1. However, antibodies can prevent HIV-1 infection in humanized mice and macaques when passively transferred. New single-cell-based methods have uncovered many broad and potent donor-derived antibodies, and structural studies have revealed the molecular bases for their activities. The new data suggest why such antibodies are difficult to elicit and inform HIV-1 vaccine development efforts. In addition to protecting against infection, the newly identified antibodies can suppress active infections in mice and macaques, suggesting they could be valuable additions to anti-HIV-1 therapies and to strategies to eradicate HIV-1 infection.
PMCID: PMC4041625  PMID: 24529371
7.  Structural basis for enhanced neutralization of HIV-1 by a dimeric IgG form of the glycan-recognizing antibody 2G12 
Cell reports  2013;5(5):1443-1455.
The human IgG 2G12 recognizes high-mannose carbohydrates on the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120. Its two antigen-binding fragments (Fabs) are intramolecularly domain exchanged, resulting in a rigid (Fab)2 unit including a third antigen-binding interface not found in antibodies with flexible Fab arms. We determined crystal structures of dimeric 2G12 IgG created by intermolecular domain exchange, which exhibits increased breadth and >50-fold increased neutralization potency compared with monomeric 2G12. The four Fab and two Fc regions of dimeric 2G12 were localized at low resolution in two independent structures, revealing IgG dimers with two (Fab)2 arms analogous to the Fabs of conventional monomeric IgGs. Structures revealed three conformationally-distinct dimers, demonstrating flexibility of the (Fab)2–Fc connections that was confirmed by electron microscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, and binding studies. We conclude that intermolecular domain exchange, flexibility, and bivalent binding to allow avidity effects are responsible for the increased potency and breadth of dimeric 2G12.
PMCID: PMC3919625  PMID: 24316082
8.  Review: Modulation of striatal neuron activity by cyclic nucleotide signaling and phosphodiesterase inhibition 
Basal ganglia  2013;3(3):137-146.
The cyclic nucleotides cAMP and cGMP are common signaling molecules synthesized in neurons following the activation of adenylyl or guanylyl cyclase. In the striatum, the synthesis and degradation of cAMP and cGMP is highly regulated as these second messengers have potent effects on the activity of striatonigral and striatopallidal neurons. This review will summarize the literature on cyclic nucleotide signaling in the striatum with a particular focus on the impact of cAMP and cGMP on the membrane excitability of striatal medium-sized spiny output neurons (MSNs). The effects of non-selective and selective phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors on membrane activity and synaptic plasticity of MSNs will also be reviewed. Lastly, this review will discuss the implications of the effects PDE modulation on electrophysiological activity of striatal MSNs as it relates to the treatment of neurological disorders such as Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease.
PMCID: PMC3904398  PMID: 24490129
cyclic AMP; cyclic GMP; phosphodiesterase; electrophysiology
9.  Antibody 8ANC195 Reveals a Site of Broad Vulnerability on the HIV-1 Envelope Spike 
Cell reports  2014;7(3):785-795.
Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) to HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) can prevent infection in animal models. Characterized bNAb targets, although key to vaccine and therapeutic strategies, are currently limited. We defined a new site of vulnerability by solving structures of bNAb 8ANC195 complexed with monomeric gp120 by X-ray crystallography and trimeric Env by electron microscopy. The site includes portions of gp41 and N-linked glycans adjacent to the CD4 binding site on gp120, making 8ANC195 the first donor-derived anti-HIV-1 bNAb with an epitope spanning both Env subunits. Rather than penetrating the glycan shield using a single variable region CDR loop, 8ANC195 inserted its entire heavy chain variable domain into a gap to form a large interface with gp120 glycans and regions of the gp120 inner domain not contacted by other bNAbs. By isolating additional 8ANC195 clonal variants, we identified a more potent variant, which may be valuable for therapeutic approaches using bNAb combinations with non-overlapping epitopes.
PMCID: PMC4109818  PMID: 24767986
10.  Restricting HIV-1 pathways for escape using rationally designed anti–HIV-1 antibodies 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2013;210(6):1235-1249.
Mutating anti–HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies increases their breadth and reduces pathways for viral escape through mutation.
Recently identified broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) that potently neutralize most HIV-1 strains are key to potential antibody-based therapeutic approaches to combat HIV/AIDS in the absence of an effective vaccine. Increasing bNAb potencies and resistance to common routes of HIV-1 escape through mutation would facilitate their use as therapeutics. We previously used structure-based design to create the bNAb NIH45-46G54W, which exhibits superior potency and/or breadth compared with other bNAbs. We report new, more effective NIH45-46G54W variants designed using analyses of the NIH45-46–gp120 complex structure and sequences of NIH45-46G54W–resistant HIV-1 strains. One variant, 45-46m2, neutralizes 96% of HIV-1 strains in a cross-clade panel and viruses isolated from an HIV-infected individual that are resistant to all other known bNAbs, making it the single most broad and potent anti–HIV-1 antibody to date. A description of its mechanism is presented based on a 45-46m2–gp120 crystal structure. A second variant, 45-46m7, designed to thwart HIV-1 resistance to NIH45-46G54W arising from mutations in a gp120 consensus sequence, targets a common route of HIV-1 escape. In combination, 45-46m2 and 45-46m7 reduce the possible routes for the evolution of fit viral escape mutants in HIV-1YU-2–infected humanized mice, with viremic control exhibited when a third antibody, 10–1074, was added to the combination.
PMCID: PMC3674693  PMID: 23712429
11.  Engineering HIV envelope protein to activate germline B cell receptors of broadly neutralizing anti-CD4 binding site antibodies 
Eliminating key glycosylation sites on HIV envelope (Env) restores binding of the germline versions of known broadly neutralizing anti-Env antibodies.
Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) against HIV are believed to be a critical component of the protective responses elicited by an effective HIV vaccine. Neutralizing antibodies against the evolutionarily conserved CD4-binding site (CD4-BS) on the HIV envelope glycoprotein (Env) are capable of inhibiting infection of diverse HIV strains, and have been isolated from HIV-infected individuals. Despite the presence of anti–CD4-BS broadly neutralizing antibody (bnAb) epitopes on recombinant Env, Env immunization has so far failed to elicit such antibodies. Here, we show that Env immunogens fail to engage the germline-reverted forms of known bnAbs that target the CD4-BS. However, we found that the elimination of a conserved glycosylation site located in Loop D and two glycosylation sites located in variable region 5 of Env allows Env-binding to, and activation of, B cells expressing the germline-reverted BCRs of two potent broadly neutralizing antibodies, VRC01 and NIH45-46. Our results offer a possible explanation as to why Env immunogens have been ineffective in stimulating the production of such bNAbs. Importantly, they provide key information as to how such immunogens can be engineered to initiate the process of antibody-affinity maturation against one of the most conserved Env regions.
PMCID: PMC3620356  PMID: 23530120
12.  A conditional knockout resource for the genome–wide study of mouse gene function 
Nature  2011;474(7351):337-342.
Gene targeting in embryonic stem cells has become the principal technology for manipulation of the mouse genome, offering unrivalled accuracy in allele design and access to conditional mutagenesis. To bring these advantages to the wider research community, large-scale mouse knockout programmes are producing a permanent resource of targeted mutations in all protein-coding genes. Here we report the establishment of a high-throughput gene-targeting pipeline for the generation of reporter-tagged, conditional alleles. Computational allele design, 96-well modular vector construction and high-efficiency gene-targeting strategies have been combined to mutate genes on an unprecedented scale. So far, more than 12,000 vectors and 9,000 conditional targeted alleles have been produced in highly germline-competent C57BL/6N embryonic stem cells. High-throughput genome engineering highlighted by this study is broadly applicable to rat and human stem cells and provides a foundation for future genome-wide efforts aimed at deciphering the function of all genes encoded by the mammalian genome.
PMCID: PMC3572410  PMID: 21677750
13.  The mammalian gene function resource: the international knockout mouse consortium 
Bradley, Allan | Anastassiadis, Konstantinos | Ayadi, Abdelkader | Battey, James F. | Bell, Cindy | Birling, Marie-Christine | Bottomley, Joanna | Brown, Steve D. | Bürger, Antje | Bult, Carol J. | Bushell, Wendy | Collins, Francis S. | Desaintes, Christian | Doe, Brendan | Economides, Aris | Eppig, Janan T. | Finnell, Richard H. | Fletcher, Colin | Fray, Martin | Frendewey, David | Friedel, Roland H. | Grosveld, Frank G. | Hansen, Jens | Hérault, Yann | Hicks, Geoffrey | Hörlein, Andreas | Houghton, Richard | Hrabé de Angelis, Martin | Huylebroeck, Danny | Iyer, Vivek | de Jong, Pieter J. | Kadin, James A. | Kaloff, Cornelia | Kennedy, Karen | Koutsourakis, Manousos | Kent Lloyd, K. C. | Marschall, Susan | Mason, Jeremy | McKerlie, Colin | McLeod, Michael P. | von Melchner, Harald | Moore, Mark | Mujica, Alejandro O. | Nagy, Andras | Nefedov, Mikhail | Nutter, Lauryl M. | Pavlovic, Guillaume | Peterson, Jane L. | Pollock, Jonathan | Ramirez-Solis, Ramiro | Rancourt, Derrick E. | Raspa, Marcello | Remacle, Jacques E. | Ringwald, Martin | Rosen, Barry | Rosenthal, Nadia | Rossant, Janet | Ruiz Noppinger, Patricia | Ryder, Ed | Schick, Joel Zupicich | Schnütgen, Frank | Schofield, Paul | Seisenberger, Claudia | Selloum, Mohammed | Simpson, Elizabeth M. | Skarnes, William C. | Smedley, Damian | Stanford, William L. | Francis Stewart, A. | Stone, Kevin | Swan, Kate | Tadepally, Hamsa | Teboul, Lydia | Tocchini-Valentini, Glauco P. | Valenzuela, David | West, Anthony P. | Yamamura, Ken-ichi | Yoshinaga, Yuko | Wurst, Wolfgang
Mammalian Genome  2012;23(9-10):580-586.
In 2007, the International Knockout Mouse Consortium (IKMC) made the ambitious promise to generate mutations in virtually every protein-coding gene of the mouse genome in a concerted worldwide action. Now, 5 years later, the IKMC members have developed high-throughput gene trapping and, in particular, gene-targeting pipelines and generated more than 17,400 mutant murine embryonic stem (ES) cell clones and more than 1,700 mutant mouse strains, most of them conditional. A common IKMC web portal ( has been established, allowing easy access to this unparalleled biological resource. The IKMC materials considerably enhance functional gene annotation of the mammalian genome and will have a major impact on future biomedical research.
PMCID: PMC3463800  PMID: 22968824
14.  Single-Chain Fv-Based Anti-HIV Proteins: Potential and Limitations 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(1):195-202.
The existence of very potent, broadly neutralizing antibodies against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) offers the potential for prophylaxis against HIV-1 infection by passive immunization or gene therapy. Both routes permit the delivery of modified forms of IgGs. Smaller reagents are favored when considering ease of tissue penetration and the limited capacities of gene therapy vectors. Immunoadhesin (single-chain fragment variable [scFv]-Fc) forms of IgGs are one class of relatively small reagent that has been explored for delivery by adeno-associated virus. Here we investigated the neutralization potencies of immunoadhesins compared to those of their parent IgGs. For the antibodies VRC01, PG9, and PG16, the immunoadhesins showed modestly reduced potencies, likely reflecting reduced affinities compared to those of the parent IgG, and the VRC01 immunoadhesin formed dimers and multimers with reduced neutralization potencies. Although scFv forms of neutralizing antibodies may exhibit affinity reductions, they provide a means of building reagents with multiple activities. Attachment of the VRC01 scFv to PG16 IgG yielded a bispecific reagent whose neutralization activity combined activities from both parent antibodies. Although the neutralization activity due to each component was partially reduced, the combined reagent is attractive since fewer strains escaped neutralization.
PMCID: PMC3255864  PMID: 22013046
15.  Increasing the Potency and Breadth of an HIV Antibody by using Structure-Based Rational Design* 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2011;334(6060):1289-1293.
Antibodies against the CD4 binding site (CD4bs) on the HIV-1 spike protein gp120 can show exceptional potency and breadth. We determined structures of NIH45-46, a more potent clonal variant of VRC01, alone and bound to gp120. Comparisons with VRC01–gp120 revealed that a four-residue insertion in CDRH3 contributed to increased interaction between NIH45-46 and the gp120 inner domain, which correlated with enhanced neutralization. We used structure-based design to create NIH45-46G54W, a single substitution in CDRH2 that increases contact with the gp120 bridging sheet and improves breadth and potency, critical properties for potential clinical use, by an order of magnitude. Together with the NIH45-46–gp120 structure, these results indicate that gp120 inner domain/bridging sheet residues should be included in immunogens to elicit CD4bs antibodies.
PMCID: PMC3232316  PMID: 22033520
16.  Inhibition of Striatal Soluble Guanylyl Cyclase-cGMP Signaling Reverses Basal Ganglia Dysfunction and Akinesia in Experimental Parkinsonism 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27187.
There is clearly a necessity to identify novel non-dopaminergic mechanisms as new therapeutic targets for Parkinson's disease (PD). Among these, the soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC)-cGMP signaling cascade is emerging as a promising candidate for second messenger-based therapies for the amelioration of PD symptoms. In the present study, we examined the utility of the selective sGC inhibitor 1H-[1], [2], [4] oxadiazolo-[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ) for reversing basal ganglia dysfunction and akinesia in animal models of PD.
The utility of the selective sGC inhibitor ODQ for reversing biochemical, electrophysiological, histochemical, and behavioral correlates of experimental PD was performed in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats and mice chronically treated with MPTP.
We found that one systemic administration of ODQ is sufficient to reverse the characteristic elevations in striatal cGMP levels, striatal output neuron activity, and metabolic activity in the subthalamic nucleus observed in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. The latter outcome was reproduced after intrastriatal infusion of ODQ. Systemic administration of ODQ was also effective in improving deficits in forelimb akinesia induced by 6-OHDA and MPTP.
Pharmacological inhibition of the sGC-cGMP signaling pathway is a promising non-dopaminergic treatment strategy for restoring basal ganglia dysfunction and attenuating motor symptoms associated with PD.
PMCID: PMC3206945  PMID: 22073284
17.  Crystal structure of a hemojuvelin-binding fragment of neogenin at 1.8 Å 
Journal of structural biology  2010;174(1):239-244.
Neogenin is a type I transmembrane glycoprotein with a large ectodomain containing tandem immunoglobulin-like and fibronectin type III (FNIII) domains. Closely related to the tumor suppressor gene DCC, neogenin functions in critical biological processes through binding to various ligands, including netrin, repulsive guidance molecules, and the iron regulatory protein hemojuvelin. We previously reported that neogenin binds to hemojuvelin through its membrane-proximal fifth and sixth FNIII domains (FN5-6), with domain 6 (FN6) contributing the majority of critical binding interactions. Here we present the crystal structure of FN5-6, the hemojuvelin-binding fragment of human neogenin, at 1.8 Å. The two FNIII domains are orientated nearly linearly, a domain arrangement most similar to that of a tandem FNIII-containing fragment within the cytoplasmic tail of the β4 integrin. By mapping surface-exposed residues that differ between neogenin FN5-6 and the comparable domains from DCC, which does not bind hemojuvelin, we identified a potential hemojuvelin binding site on neogenin FN6. Neogenin FN5, which does not bind hemojuvelin in isolation, exhibits a highly electropositive surface, which may be involved in interactions with negatively-charged polysaccharides or phospholipids in the membrane bilayer. The neogenin FN5-6 structure can be used to facilitate a molecular understanding of neogenin’s interaction with hemojuvelin to regulate iron homeostasis and with hemojuvelin-related repulsive guidance molecules to mediate axon guidance.
PMCID: PMC3074981  PMID: 20971194
neogenin; hemojuvelin; crystal structure; FNIII domain; iron homeostasis; repulsive guidance molecule
18.  Genome Sequence of the Zoonotic Pathogen Chlamydophila psittaci▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2010;193(5):1282-1283.
We present the first genome sequence of Chlamydophila psittaci, an intracellular pathogen of birds and a human zoonotic pathogen. A comparison with previously sequenced Chlamydophila genomes shows that, as in other chlamydiae, most of the genome diversity is restricted to the plasticity zone. The C. psittaci plasmid was also sequenced.
PMCID: PMC3067587  PMID: 21183672
19.  Nitric Oxide–Soluble Guanylyl Cyclase–Cyclic GMP Signaling in the Striatum: New Targets for the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease? 
Striatal nitric oxide (NO)-producing interneurons play an important role in the regulation of corticostriatal synaptic transmission and motor behavior. Striatal NO synthesis is driven by concurrent activation of NMDA and dopamine (DA) D1 receptors. NO diffuses into the dendrites of medium-sized spiny neurons which contain high levels of NO receptors called soluble guanylyl cyclases (sGC). NO-mediated activation of sGC leads to the synthesis of the second messenger cGMP. In the intact striatum, transient elevations in intracellular cGMP primarily act to increase neuronal excitability and to facilitate glutamatergic corticostriatal transmission. NO–cGMP signaling also functionally opposes the inhibitory effects of DA D2 receptor activation on corticostriatal transmission. Not surprisingly, abnormal striatal NO–sGC–cGMP signaling becomes apparent following striatal DA depletion, an alteration thought to contribute to pathophysiological changes observed in basal ganglia circuits in Parkinson's disease (PD). Here, we discuss recent developments in the field which have shed light on the role of NO–sGC–cGMP signaling pathways in basal ganglia dysfunction and motor symptoms associated with PD and l-DOPA-induced dyskinesias.
PMCID: PMC3129139  PMID: 21747761
basal ganglia; striatum; dopamine; nitric oxide; Parkinson's disease
20.  Dimeric 2G12 as a Potent Protection against HIV-1 
PLoS Pathogens  2010;6(12):e1001225.
We previously showed that broadly neutralizing anti-HIV-1 antibody 2G12 (human IgG1) naturally forms dimers that are more potent than monomeric 2G12 in in vitro neutralization of various strains of HIV-1. In this study, we have investigated the protective effects of monomeric versus dimeric 2G12 against HIV-1 infection in vivo using a humanized mouse model. Our results showed that passively transferred, purified 2G12 dimer is more potent than 2G12 monomer at preventing CD4 T cell loss and suppressing the increase of viral load following HIV-1 infection of humanized mice. Using humanized mice bearing IgG “backpack” tumors that provided 2G12 antibodies continuously, we found that a sustained dimer concentration of 5–25 µg/ml during the course of infection provides effective protection against HIV-1. Importantly, 2G12 dimer at this concentration does not favor mutations of the HIV-1 envelope that would cause the virus to completely escape 2G12 neutralization. We have therefore identified dimeric 2G12 as a potent prophylactic reagent against HIV-1 in vivo, which could be used as part of an antibody cocktail to prevent HIV-1 infection.
Author Summary
Most successful vaccines function by eliciting antibodies that bind to the surface of pathogens of interest from the host immunologic repertoire. This should also be the case for an HIV-1 vaccine, but broadly neutralizing anti-HIV-1 antibodies have proven hard to elicit with any reagent. Thus, methods to directly administer broadly neutralizing anti-HIV-1 antibodies, such as passive transfusion, become appealing. It is therefore important to find out which antibodies, or antibody cocktails, would provide effective protection against HIV-1 before administering them. Here, we show that the dimeric fraction of 2G12, a unique monoclonal anti-HIV-1 antibody that dimerizes naturally, provides better protection against HIV-1 than its monomeric fraction. As an added bonus, although HIV-1 can evolve to completely escape antibody control, the 2G12 dimer does not favor such evolution. Our study suggests that the 2G12 dimer may be a suitable reagent for direct administration to protect people from HIV-1 infection.
PMCID: PMC3002980  PMID: 21187894
21.  Evaluation of CD4-CD4i Antibody Architectures Yields Potent, Broadly Cross-Reactive Anti-Human Immunodeficiency Virus Reagents▿ † 
Journal of Virology  2009;84(1):261-269.
The envelope glycoprotein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) has several adaptations that allow the virus to evade antibody neutralization. Nevertheless, a few broadly cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies as well as reagents containing portions of CD4, the HIV receptor, have demonstrated partial efficacy in suppressing viral replication. One type of reagent designed for improved HIV neutralization fuses the CD4 D1-D2 domains to the variable regions of an antibody recognizing the CD4-induced (CD4i) coreceptor binding site on the gp120 portion of the HIV envelope spike. We designed, expressed, purified, and tested the neutralization potencies of CD4-CD4i antibody reagents with different architectures, antibody combining sites, and linkers. We found that fusing CD4 to the heavy chain of the CD4i antibody E51 yields a bivalent reagent including an antibody Fc region that expresses well, is expected to have a long serum half-life, and has comparable or greater neutralization activity than well-known broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies. A CD4 fusion with the anti-HIV carbohydrate antibody 2G12 also results in a potent neutralizing reagent with more broadly neutralizing activity than 2G12 alone.
PMCID: PMC2798438  PMID: 19864392
22.  Crystal structure of TNFα complexed with a poxvirus MHC-related TNF binding protein 
The poxvirus 2L protein binds tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) to inhibit host antiviral and immune responses. The 2.8-Å 2L–TNFα structure reveals three symmetrically arranged 2L molecules per TNFα trimer. 2L resembles class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules but lacks a peptide-binding groove and β2-microglobulin light chain. Overlap between the 2L and host TNF receptor-binding sites on TNFα rationalizes 2L inhibition of TNFα–TNF receptor interactions and prevention of TNFα-induced immune responses.
PMCID: PMC2819277  PMID: 19838188
23.  Nitric oxide-soluble guanylyl cyclase signaling regulates corticostriatal transmission and short-term synaptic plasticity of striatal projection neurons recorded in vivo 
Neuropharmacology  2009;58(3):624.
Striatal medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs) contain the highest levels of soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) in the brain. Striatal sGC signaling is activated by nitric oxide (NO) and other neuromodulators. MSNs also express cGMP-dependent protein kinase and other components of the cGMP signaling system which are critically involved in integrating corticostriatal transmission and regulating synaptic plasticity in striatal networks. However, the influence of tonic and phasic activation of this signaling pathway on striatal MSN activity is poorly understood. The present study examined the impact of systemic administration of the selective sGC inhibitor [1H-[1,2,4] oxadiazolo-[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one] (ODQ) on spike activity evoked using low and high frequency electrical stimulation of the frontal cortex. MSN activity was monitored using single-unit extracellular recordings in urethane-anesthetized rats. ODQ administration significantly decreased spike activity evoked by low frequency cortical stimulation in a stimulus intensity- and time-dependent manner. Additionally, ODQ administered along with the neuronal NO synthase inhibitor 7-nitroindazole (7-NI) potently decreased the incidence of excitatory responses observed during high frequency train stimulation of the contralateral frontal cortex. The short-term depression of cortically-evoked spike activity induced by train stimulation was enhanced following pretreatment with ODQ in MSNs exhibiting an excitatory response during cortical train stimulation. Unexpectedly, this effect of ODQ was reversed in animals receiving co-administration of ODQ and 7-NI. 7-NI/ODQ co-administration also reversed measures of short-term depression observed in MSNs exhibiting an inhibitory response during cortical train stimulation. These observations extend previous studies showing that tonic and phasic NO-sGC signaling modulates the responsiveness of MSNs to corticostriatal input. Moreover, phasic activation of NO signaling is likely to regulate short-term changes in corticostriatal synaptic plasticity via complex mechanisms involving both sGC-cGMP-dependent and independent pathways.
PMCID: PMC2813362  PMID: 19969007
striatum; nitric oxide synthase; cyclic nucleotides; short-term depression; electrophysiology
24.  Neogenin interacts with hemojuvelin through its two membrane-proximal fibronectin type III domains† 
Biochemistry  2008;47(14):4237.
Hemojuvelin is a recently-identified iron-regulatory protein that plays an important role in affecting the expression of hepcidin, a key iron regulatory hormone. Although the underlying mechanism of this process is not clear, several hemojuvelin-binding proteins, including the cell surface receptor neogenin and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) cytokines, have been identified. The ectodomain of neogenin is composed of four immunoglobulin-like (Ig) domains followed by six fibronectin type III-like (FNIII) domains. Here we report expression of soluble versions of hemojuvelin and neogenin for biochemical characterization of their interaction and the interaction of HJV with BMP-2. Hemojuvelin normally undergoes an autocatalytic cleavage, and as in vivo, recombinant hemojuvelin exists as a mixture of cleaved and uncleaved forms. Neogenin binds to cleaved and non-cleaved hemojuvelin, as verified by its binding to an uncleaved mutant hemojuvelin. We localized the hemojuvelin binding site on neogenin to the membrane-proximal fifth and sixth FNIII domains and the juxtamembrane linker, and showed that a fragment containing only this region binds 2-3 orders of magnitude more tightly than the entire neogenin ectodomain. Binding to the most membrane-proximal region of neogenin may play a role in regulating the levels of soluble and membrane-bound forms of hemojuvelin, which in turn would influence the amount of free BMP-2 available for binding to its receptors and triggering transcription of the hepcidin gene. Our finding that BMP-2 and neogenin bind simultaneously to hemojuvelin raises the possibility that neogenin is part of a multi-protein complex at the hepatocyte membrane involving BMP, its receptors, and hemojuvelin.
PMCID: PMC2819367  PMID: 18335997
25.  Impact of dopamine-glutamate interactions on striatal neuronal nitric oxide synthase activity 
Psychopharmacology  2009;207(4):571-581.
It is known that dopamine (DA) D1 receptor activation stimulates striatal nitric oxide (NO) synthesis, whereas D2 receptor activation produces the opposite effect. However, the mechanisms involved in the dopaminergic modulation of NO synthase (NOS) are unknown.
We hypothesized that the effects of DA on striatal NO signaling are dependent on ongoing glutamatergic activation of NOS. Therefore, the current study examined whether intact NMDA receptor activation is required for the dopaminergic modulation of NOS activity.
We assessed the impact of pharmacological manipulations of D1, D2 and NMDA receptors on NOS activity in the dorsal striatum and motor cortex using nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase (NADPH-d) histochemistry. Drugs were administered systemically to conscious animals and NADPH-d staining was quantified in these regions using ex vivo measurements of tissue optical density.
Administration of the neuronal NOS inhibitor NG-propyl-L-arginine (NPA), the D1 receptor antagonist SCH 23390, and the NMDA receptor antagonist 3-phosphonopropyl-piperazine-2-carboxylic acid (CPP) all attenuated staining selectively in the striatum. Administration of the D2 receptor agonist quinpirole decreased NADPH-d staining in both the striatum and cortex. Striatal NADPH-d staining elicited by administration of the D1 receptor agonist SKF 81297 or the D2 receptor antagonist eticlopride was attenuated by NPA, SCH 23390, and CPP pretreatment. Quinpirole pretreatment also abolished the facilitatory effect of SKF 81297.
These studies show for the first time that ongoing NMDA receptor activation is necessary for modulation of striatal NOS activity by both facilitatory (D1 receptor activation) and inhibitory (D2 receptor activation) dopaminergic signaling mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC2809781  PMID: 19816675
dopamine; nitric oxide; nitric oxide synthase; NMDA receptor; striatum; cortex

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