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1.  Chemically Modified Peptides Based on the Membrane-Proximal External Region of the HIV-1 Envelope Induce High-Titer, Epitope-Specific Nonneutralizing Antibodies in Rabbits 
Broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bNAbs) 2F5 and 4E10 bind to the membrane proximal external region (MPER) of gp41 and also cross-react with phospholipids. In this study, we investigated if chemical modifications on the MPER adjacent to 2F5 and 4E10 epitopes using mimetics of inflammation-associated posttranslational modifications to induce 2F5- and 4E10-like bNAbs can break tolerance. We synthesized a series of chemically modified peptides spanning the MPER. The serine, threonine, and tyrosine residues in the peptides were modified with sulfate, phosphate, or nitrate moieties and presented in liposomes for rabbit immunizations. All immunizations resulted in high antisera titers directed toward both the modified and unmodified immunogens. Tyrosine modification was observed to significantly suppress antiepitope responses. Sera with strong anti-gp140 titers were purified by affinity chromatography toward the MPER peptide and found to possess a higher affinity toward the MPER than did the bNAbs 2F5 and 4E10. Modest neutralization was observed in the H9 neutralization assay, but neutralization was not observed in the TZM-bl cell or peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) neutralization assay platforms. Although neutralizing antibodies were not induced by this approach, we conclude that chemical modifications can increase the immune responses to poorly immunogenic antigens, suggesting that chemical modification in an appropriate immunization protocol should be explored further as an HIV-1 vaccine strategy.
PMCID: PMC4135905  PMID: 24872518
2.  Antibody-dependent cell-mediated virus inhibition (ADCVI) antibody activity does not correlate with risk of HIV-1 superinfection 
Previous studies of HIV-infected women with high risk behavior have indicated that neither neutralizing antibody nor cellular immunity elicited by an initial HIV-1 infection is associated with protection against superinfection with a different HIV-1 strain. Here, we measured antibody-dependent cell-mediated virus inhibition (ADCVI) antibody activity in the plasma of 12 superinfected cases and 36 singly infected matched controls against 2 heterologous viruses. We found no association between plasma ADCVI activity and superinfection status. ADCVI antibody activity against heterologous virus elicited by the original infection may not contribute to preventing a superinfecting HIV-1.
PMCID: PMC3625514  PMID: 23344546
antibody-dependent cell-mediated virus inhibition; ADCVI; HIV-1; superinfection; primary infection; clade A
3.  Passive immunization of macaques with polyclonal anti-SHIV IgG against a heterologous tier 2 SHIV: outcome depends on IgG dose 
Retrovirology  2014;11:8.
A key goal for HIV-1 envelope immunogen design is the induction of cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). As AIDS vaccine recipients will not be exposed to strains exactly matching any immunogens due to multiple HIV-1 quasispecies circulating in the human population worldwide, heterologous SHIV challenges are essential for realistic vaccine efficacy testing in primates. We assessed whether polyclonal IgG, isolated from rhesus monkeys (RMs) with high-titer nAbs (termed SHIVIG), could protect RMs against the R5-tropic tier-2 SHIV-2873Nip, which was heterologous to the viruses or HIV-1 envelopes that had elicited SHIVIG.
SHIVIG demonstrated binding to HIV Gag, Tat, and Env of different clades and competed with the broadly neutralizing antibodies b12, VRC01, 4E10, and 17b. SHIVIG neutralized tier 1 and tier 2 viruses, including SHIV-2873Nip. NK-cell depletion decreased the neutralizing activity of SHIVIG 20-fold in PBMC assays. Although SHIVIG neutralized SHIV-2873Nip in vitro, this polyclonal IgG preparation failed to prevent acquisition after repeated intrarectal low-dose virus challenges, but at a dose of 400 mg/kg, it significantly lowered peak viremia (P = 0.001). Unexpectedly, single-genome analysis revealed a higher number of transmitted variants at the low dose of 25 mg/kg, implying increased acquisition at low SHIVIG levels. In vitro, SHIVIG demonstrated complement-mediated Ab-dependent enhancement of infection (C’-ADE) at concentrations similar to those observed in plasmas of RMs treated with 25 mg/kg of SHIVIG.
Our primate model data suggest a dual role for polyclonal anti-HIV-1 Abs depending on plasma levels upon virus encounter.
PMCID: PMC3905655  PMID: 24444350
Macaque model; Heterologous R5 SHIV clade C challenge; SHIVIG; Passive immunization; Enhancement of infection; Non-human primate model
4.  HIV-1 Specific Antibody Titers and Neutralization among Chronically Infected Patients on Long-Term Suppressive Antiretroviral Therapy (ART): A Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85371.
The majority of potent and broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1 have been isolated from untreated patients with acute or chronic infection. To assess the extent of HIV-1 specific antibody response and neutralization after many years of virologic suppression from potent combination ART, we examined antibody binding titers and neutralization of 51 patients with chronic HIV-1 infection on suppressive ART for at least three years. In this cross-sectional analysis, we found high antibody titers against gp120, gp41, and the membrane proximal external region (MPER) in 59%, 43%, and 27% of patients, respectively. We observed significantly higher endpoint binding titers for gp120 and gp41 for patients with >10 compared to ≤10 years of detectable HIV RNA. Additionally, we observed higher median gp120 and gp41 antibody titers in patients with HIV RNA <50 copies/mL for ≤5 years. 22% of patients neutralized a HIV-1 primary isolate (HIV-1JR-FL) and 8% neutralized a HIV-2/HIV-1 MPER chimera. Significantly greater HIV-1JR-FL neutralization was found among patients with >10 years of detectable HIV RNA (8/20 [40.0%] versus 3/31 [9.7%] for ≤10 years, p = 0.02) and a trend toward greater neutralization in patients with ≤5 years of HIV RNA <50 copies/mL (7/20 [35.0%] versus 4/31 [12.9%] for >5 years, p = 0.08). All patients with neutralizing activity mediated successful phagocytosis of VLPs by THP-1 cells after antibody opsonization. Our findings of highly specific antibodies to several structural epitopes of HIV-1 with antibody effector functions and neutralizing activity after long-term suppressive ART, suggest continuous antigenic stimulation and evolution of HIV-specific antibody response occurs before and after suppression with ART. These patients, particularly those with slower HIV progression and more time with detectable viremia prior to initiation of suppressive ART, are a promising population to identify and further study functional antibodies against HIV-1.
PMCID: PMC3893210  PMID: 24454852
6.  The Neonatal Fc Receptor (FcRn) Enhances Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) Transcytosis across Epithelial Cells 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(11):e1003776.
The mechanisms by which human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) crosses mucosal surfaces to establish infection are unknown. Acidic genital secretions of HIV-1-infected women contain HIV-1 likely coated by antibody. We found that the combination of acidic pH and Env-specific IgG, including that from cervicovaginal and seminal fluids of HIV-1-infected individuals, augmented transcytosis across epithelial cells as much as 20-fold compared with Env-specific IgG at neutral pH or non-specific IgG at either pH. Enhanced transcytosis was observed with clinical HIV-1 isolates, including transmitted/founder strains, and was eliminated in Fc neonatal receptor (FcRn)-knockdown epithelial cells. Non-neutralizing antibodies allowed similar or less transcytosis than neutralizing antibodies. However, the ratio of total:infectious virus was higher for neutralizing antibodies, indicating that they allowed transcytosis while blocking infectivity of transcytosed virus. Immunocytochemistry revealed abundant FcRn expression in columnar epithelia lining the human endocervix and penile urethra. Acidity and Env-specific IgG enhance transcytosis of virus across epithelial cells via FcRn and could facilitate translocation of virus to susceptible target cells following sexual exposure.
Author Summary
HIV-1 causes a sexually transmitted disease. However, the mechanisms employed by the virus to cross genital tract tissue and establish infection are uncertain. Since cervicovaginal fluid is acidic and HIV-1 in cervicovaginal fluid is likely coated with antibodies, we explored the effect of low pH and HIV-1-specific antibodies on transcytosis, the movement of HIV-1 across tight-junctioned epithelial cells. We found that the combination of HIV-1-specific antibodies and low pH enhanced transcytosis as much as 20-fold. Virus that underwent transcytosis under these conditions was infectious, and infectivity was highly influenced by whether or not the antibody neutralized the virus. We observed enhanced transcytosis using antibody from cervicovaginal and seminal fluids and using transmitted/founder strains of HIV-1. We also found that the enhanced transcytosis was due to the Fc neonatal receptor (FcRn), which binds immune complexes at acidic pH and releases them at neutral pH. Finally, staining of human tissue revealed abundant FcRn expression on columnar epithelial cells of penile urethra and endocervix. Our findings reveal a novel mechanism wherein HIV-1 may facilitate its own transmission by usurping the antibody response directed against itself. These results have important implications for HIV vaccine development and for understanding the earliest events in HIV transmission.
PMCID: PMC3836734  PMID: 24278022
7.  Neutralizing Polyclonal IgG Present during Acute Infection Prevents Rapid Disease Onset in Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Virus SHIVSF162P3-Infected Infant Rhesus Macaques 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(19):10447-10459.
Simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) models for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection have been widely used in passive studies with HIV neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) to test for protection against infection. However, because SHIV-infected adult macaques often rapidly control plasma viremia and any resulting pathogenesis is minor, the model has been unsuitable for studying the impact of antibodies on pathogenesis in infected animals. We found that SHIVSF162P3 infection in 1-month-old rhesus macaques not only results in high persistent plasma viremia but also leads to very rapid disease progression within 12 to 16 weeks. In this model, passive transfer of high doses of neutralizing IgG (SHIVIG) prevents infection. Here, we show that at lower doses, SHIVIG reduces both plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-associated viremia and mitigates pathogenesis in infected animals. Moreover, production of endogenous NAbs correlated with lower set-point viremia and 100% survival of infected animals. New SHIV models are needed to investigate whether passively transferred antibodies or antibodies elicited by vaccination that fall short of providing sterilizing immunity impact disease progression or influence immune responses. The 1-month-old rhesus macaque SHIV model of infection provides a new tool to investigate the effects of antibodies on viral replication and clearance, mechanisms of B cell maintenance, and the induction of adaptive immunity in disease progression.
PMCID: PMC3807376  PMID: 23885083
8.  Evaluation of Heterologous Vaginal SHIV SF162p4 Infection Following Vaccination with a Polyvalent Clade B Virus-Like Particle Vaccine 
The vast diversity of HIV-1 infections has greatly impeded the development of a successful HIV-1/AIDS vaccine. Previous vaccine work has demonstrated limited levels of protection against SHIV/SIV infection, but protection was observed only when the challenge virus was directly matched to the vaccine strain. As it is likely impossible to directly match the vaccine strain to all infecting strains in nature, it is necessary to develop an HIV-1 vaccine that can protect against a heterologous viral challenge. In this study we investigated the ability of polyvalent and consensus vaccines to protect against a heterologous clade B challenge. Rhesus macaques were vaccinated with ConB or PolyB virus-like particle vaccines. All vaccines were highly immunogenic with high titers of antibody found in all vaccinated groups against SIV Gag. Antibody responses were also observed against a diverse panel of clade B envelopes. Following vaccination nonhuman primates (NHPs) were challenged via the vaginal route with SHIVSF162p4. The PolyB vaccine induced a 66.7% reduction in the rate of infection as well as causing a two log reduction in viral burden if infection was not blocked. ConB vaccination had no effect on either the infection rate or viral burden. These results indicate that a polyvalent clade-matched vaccine is better able to protect against a heterologous challenge as compared to a consensus vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3423648  PMID: 22214267
9.  Rapid High-Level Production of Functional HIV Broadly Neutralizing Monoclonal Antibodies in Transient Plant Expression Systems 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58724.
Passive immunotherapy using anti-HIV broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) has shown promise as an HIV treatment, reducing mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT) of simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) in non-human primates and decreasing viral rebound in patients who ceased receiving anti-viral drugs. In addition, a cocktail of potent mAbs may be useful as mucosal microbicides and provide an effective therapy for post-exposure prophylaxis. However, even highly neutralizing HIV mAbs used today may lose their effectiveness if resistance occurs, requiring the rapid production of new or engineered mAbs on an ongoing basis in order to counteract the viral resistance or the spread of a certain HIV-1 clade in a particular region or patient. Plant-based expression systems are fast, inexpensive and scalable and are becoming increasingly popular for the production of proteins and monoclonal antibodies. In the present study, Agrobacterium-mediated transient transfection of plants, utilizing two species of Nicotiana, have been tested to rapidly produce high levels of an HIV 89.6PΔ140env and several well-studied anti-HIV neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (b12, 2G12, 2F5, 4E10, m43, VRC01) or a single chain antibody construct (m9), for evaluation in cell-based viral inhibition assays. The protein-A purified plant-derived antibodies were intact, efficiently bound HIV envelope, and were equivalent to, or in one case better than, their counterparts produced in mammalian CHO or HEK-293 cells in both neutralization and antibody dependent viral inhibition assays. These data indicate that transient plant-based transient expression systems are very adaptable and could rapidly generate high levels of newly identified functional recombinant HIV neutralizing antibodies when required. In addition, they warrant detailed cost-benefit analysis of prolonged incubation in plants to further increase mAb production.
PMCID: PMC3606348  PMID: 23533588
10.  Vaccine Induced Antibodies to the First Variable Loop of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 gp120, Mediate Antibody-Dependent Virus Inhibition in Macaques 
Vaccine  2011;30(1):78-94.
The role of antibodies directed against the hyper variable envelope region V1 of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), has not been thoroughly studied. We show that a vaccine able to elicit strain-specific non-neutralizing antibodies to this region of gp120 is associated with control of highly pathogenic chimeric SHIV89.6P replication in rhesus macaques. The vaccinated animal that had the highest titers of antibodies to the amino terminus portion of V1, prior to challenge, had secondary antibody responses that mediated cell killing by antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), as early as two weeks after infection and inhibited viral replication by antibody-dependent cell-mediated virus inhibition (ADCVI), by four weeks after infection. There was a significant inverse correlation between virus level and binding antibody titers to the envelope protein, (R = -0.83, p 0.015), and ADCVI (R = -0.84 p=0.044). Genotyping of plasma virus demonstrated in vivo selection of three SHIV89.6P variants with changes in potential N-linked glycosylation sites in V1. We found a significant inverse correlation between virus levels and titers of antibodies that mediated ADCVI against all the identified V1 virus variants. A significant inverse correlation was also found between neutralizing antibody titers to SHIV89.6 and virus levels (R = -0.72 p =0.0050). However, passive inoculation of purified immunoglobulin from animal M316, the macaque that best controlled virus, to a naïve macaque, resulted in a low serum neutralizing antibodies and low ADCVI activity that failed to protect from SHIV89.6P challenge. Collectively, while our data suggest that anti-envelope antibodies with neutralizing and non-neutralizing FcγR-dependent activities may be important in the control of SHIV replication, they also demonstrate that low levels of these antibodies alone are not sufficient to protect from infection.
PMCID: PMC3246802  PMID: 22037204
11.  A Nonfucosylated Variant of the anti-HIV-1 Monoclonal Antibody b12 Has Enhanced FcγRIIIa-Mediated Antiviral Activity In Vitro but Does Not Improve Protection against Mucosal SHIV Challenge in Macaques 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(11):6189-6196.
Eliciting neutralizing antibodies is thought to be a key activity of a vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, a number of studies have suggested that in addition to neutralization, interaction of IgG with Fc gamma receptors (FcγR) may play an important role in antibody-mediated protection. We have previously obtained evidence that the protective activity of the broadly neutralizing human IgG1 anti-HIV monoclonal antibody (MAb) b12 in macaques is diminished in the absence of FcγR binding capacity. To investigate antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) as a contributor to FcγR-associated protection, we developed a nonfucosylated variant of b12 (NFb12). We showed that, compared to fully fucosylated (referred to as wild-type in the text) b12, NFb12 had higher affinity for human and rhesus macaque FcγRIIIa and was more efficient in inhibiting viral replication and more effective in killing HIV-infected cells in an ADCC assay. Despite these more potent in vitro antiviral activities, NFb12 did not enhance protection in vivo against repeated low-dose vaginal challenge in the simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV)/macaque model compared to wild-type b12. No difference in protection, viral load, or infection susceptibility was observed between animals given NFb12 and those given fully fucosylated b12, indicating that FcγR-mediated activities distinct from FcγRIIIa-mediated ADCC may be important in the observed protection against SHIV challenge.
PMCID: PMC3372207  PMID: 22457527
12.  In vitro anti-HIV-1 activity of salicylidene acylhydrazide compounds 
Salicylidene acylhydrazide compounds have been shown to inhibit bacterial pathogens, including Chlamydia and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. If such compounds could also target HIV-1, their potential use as topical microbicides to prevent sexually transmitted infections would be considerable. We determined the in vitro anti-HIV-1 activity, cytotoxicity and mechanism of action of several salicylidene acylhydrazides.
Inhibitory activity was assessed using TZMbl cells and primary peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) as targets for HIV-1 infection. Anti-viral activity was measured against cell-free and cell-associated virus and in vaginal fluid and semen simulants. Since the anti-bacterial activity of salicylidene acylhydrazides is reversible by Fe2+, we determined whether Fe2+ and other cations could reverse the anti-HIV-1 activity of the compounds. We also employed real-time PCR to determine the stage affected in the HIV-1 replication cycle.
We identified four compounds with 50% HIV-1 inhibitory concentrations of 1 to 7 μM. In vitro toxicity varied but was generally limited. Activity was similar against three R5 clade B primary isolates and whether targets for virus replication were TZMbl cells or PBMCs. Compounds inhibited cell-free and cell-associated virus and were active in vaginal fluid and semen simulants. Fe2+, but not other cations, reversed the anti-HIV-1 effect. Finally, inhibitory effect of the compounds occurred at a post-integration step.
We identified salicylidene acylhydrazides with in vitro anti-HIV-1 activity in the μM range. The activity of these compounds against other sexually transmitted pathogens makes them potential candidates to formulate for use as a broad-spectrum topical genital microbicide.
PMCID: PMC3438335  PMID: 22819150
Salicylidene acylhydrazides; HIV; microbicide; iron chelation
13.  Prolonged tenofovir treatment of macaques infected with K65R reverse transcriptase mutants of SIV results in the development of antiviral immune responses that control virus replication after drug withdrawal 
Retrovirology  2012;9:57.
We reported previously that while prolonged tenofovir monotherapy of macaques infected with virulent simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) resulted invariably in the emergence of viral mutants with reduced in vitro drug susceptibility and a K65R mutation in reverse transcriptase, some animals controlled virus replication for years. Transient CD8+ cell depletion or short-term tenofovir interruption within 1 to 5 years of treatment demonstrated that a combination of CD8+ cell-mediated immune responses and continued tenofovir therapy was required for sustained suppression of viremia. We report here follow-up data on 5 such animals that received tenofovir for 8 to 14 years.
Although one animal had a gradual increase in viremia from 3 years onwards, the other 4 tenofovir-treated animals maintained undetectable viremia with occasional viral blips (≤ 300 RNA copies/ml plasma). When tenofovir was withdrawn after 8 to 10 years from three animals with undetectable viremia, the pattern of occasional episodes of low viremia (≤ 3600 RNA/ml plasma) continued throughout the 10-month follow-up period. These animals had low virus levels in lymphoid tissues, and evidence of multiple SIV-specific immune responses.
Under certain conditions (i.e., prolonged antiviral therapy initiated early after infection; viral mutants with reduced drug susceptibility) a virus-host balance characterized by strong immunologic control of virus replication can be achieved. Although further research is needed to translate these findings into clinical applications, these observations provide hope for a functional cure of HIV infection via immunotherapeutic strategies that boost antiviral immunity and reduce the need for continuous antiretroviral therapy.
PMCID: PMC3419085  PMID: 22805180
Tenofovir; PMPA; SIV; Functional cure; Antiretroviral; HIV
14.  Passive neutralizing antibody controls SHIV viremia and enhances B cell responses in infant macaques 
Nature medicine  2010;16(10):1117-1119.
Maternal HIV-1-specific antibodies are efficiently transferred to newborns; their role in disease control is unknown. We administered non-sterilizing levels of neutralizing IgG, including the human neutralizing monoclonal IgG1b12, to six newborn macaques before oral challenge with SHIVSF612P3. All rapidly developed neutralizing antibodies and had significantly reduced plasma viremia for 6 months. These studies support the use of neutralizing antibodies in enhancing B cell responses and viral control in perinatal settings.
PMCID: PMC2952052  PMID: 20890292
15.  Anti-phospholipid human monoclonal antibodies inhibit CCR5-tropic HIV-1 and induce β-chemokines 
Traditional antibody-mediated neutralization of HIV-1 infection is thought to result from the binding of antibodies to virions, thus preventing virus entry. However, antibodies that broadly neutralize HIV-1 are rare and are not induced by current vaccines. We report that four human anti-phospholipid monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) (PGN632, P1, IS4, and CL1) inhibit HIV-1 CCR5-tropic (R5) primary isolate infection of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with 80% inhibitory concentrations of <0.02 to ∼10 µg/ml. Anti-phospholipid mAbs inhibited PBMC HIV-1 infection in vitro by mechanisms involving binding to monocytes and triggering the release of MIP-1α and MIP-1β. The release of these β-chemokines explains both the specificity for R5 HIV-1 and the activity of these mAbs in PBMC cultures containing both primary lymphocytes and monocytes.
PMCID: PMC2856026  PMID: 20368576
16.  Broadly Neutralizing Monoclonal Antibodies 2F5 and 4E10 Directed against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 gp41 Membrane-Proximal External Region Protect against Mucosal Challenge by Simian-Human Immunodeficiency Virus SHIVBa-L▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;84(3):1302-1313.
The membrane-proximal external region (MPER) of HIV-1, located at the C terminus of the gp41 ectodomain, is conserved and crucial for viral fusion. Three broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bnMAbs), 2F5, 4E10, and Z13e1, are directed against linear epitopes mapped to the MPER, making this conserved region an important potential vaccine target. However, no MPER antibodies have been definitively shown to provide protection against HIV challenge. Here, we show that both MAbs 2F5 and 4E10 can provide complete protection against mucosal simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) challenge in macaques. MAb 2F5 or 4E10 was administered intravenously at 50 mg/kg to groups of six male Indian rhesus macaques 1 day prior to and again 1 day following intrarectal challenge with SHIVBa-L. In both groups, five out of six animals showed complete protection and sterilizing immunity, while for one animal in each group a low level of viral replication following challenge could not be ruled out. The study confirms the protective potential of 2F5 and 4E10 and supports emphasis on HIV immunogen design based on the MPER region of gp41.
PMCID: PMC2812338  PMID: 19906907
17.  Protective Efficacy of a Single Immunization of a Chimeric Adenovirus Vector-Based Vaccine against Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Challenge in Rhesus Monkeys▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;83(18):9584-9590.
Rare serotype and chimeric recombinant adenovirus (rAd) vectors that evade anti-Ad5 immunity are currently being evaluated as potential vaccine vectors for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and other pathogens. We have recently reported that a heterologous rAd prime-boost regimen expressing simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) Gag afforded durable partial immune control of an SIV challenge in rhesus monkeys. However, single-shot immunization may ultimately be preferable for global vaccine delivery. We therefore evaluated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a single immunization of chimeric rAd5 hexon hypervariable region 48 (rAd5HVR48) vectors expressing SIV Gag, Pol, Nef, and Env against a homologous SIV challenge in rhesus monkeys. Inclusion of Env resulted in improved control of peak and set point SIV RNA levels following challenge. In contrast, DNA vaccine priming did not further improve the protective efficacy of rAd5HVR48 vectors in this system.
PMCID: PMC2738237  PMID: 19553307
18.  Immune Control of an SIV Challenge by a T Cell-Based Vaccine in Rhesus Monkeys 
Nature  2008;457(7225):87-91.
A recombinant adenovirus serotype 5 (rAd5) vector-based vaccine for HIV-1 has recently failed in a phase 2b efficacy study in humans1, 2. Consistent with these results, preclinical studies have demonstrated that rAd5 vectors expressing SIV Gag failed to reduce peak or setpoint viral loads following SIV challenge of rhesus monkeys that lacked the protective MHC class I allele Mamu-A*013. Here we show that an improved T cell-based vaccine regimen utilizing two serologically distinct adenovirus vectors afforded substantially improved protective efficacy in this stringent challenge model. In particular, a heterologous rAd26 prime, rAd5 boost vaccine regimen expressing SIV Gag elicited cellular immune responses with augmented magnitude, breadth, and polyfunctionality as compared with the homologous rAd5 regimen. Following SIVmac251 challenge, monkeys vaccinated with the heterologous rAd26/rAd5 regimen exhibited a 1.4 log reduction of peak and a 2.4 log reduction of setpoint viral loads as well as decreased AIDS-related mortality as compared with control animals. These data demonstrate that durable partial immune control of a pathogenic SIV challenge for over 500 days can be achieved by a T cell-based vaccine in Mamu-A*01-negative rhesus monkeys in the absence of a homologous Env antigen. These findings have important implications for the development of next generation T cell-based vaccine candidates for HIV-1.
PMCID: PMC2614452  PMID: 18997770
19.  Initial B-Cell Responses to Transmitted Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1: Virion-Binding Immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG Antibodies Followed by Plasma Anti-gp41 Antibodies with Ineffective Control of Initial Viremia▿ †  
Journal of Virology  2008;82(24):12449-12463.
A window of opportunity for immune responses to extinguish human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) exists from the moment of transmission through establishment of the latent pool of HIV-1-infected cells. A critical time to study the initial immune responses to the transmitted/founder virus is the eclipse phase of HIV-1 infection (time from transmission to the first appearance of plasma virus), but, to date, this period has been logistically difficult to analyze. To probe B-cell responses immediately following HIV-1 transmission, we have determined envelope-specific antibody responses to autologous and consensus Envs in plasma donors from the United States for whom frequent plasma samples were available at time points immediately before, during, and after HIV-1 plasma viral load (VL) ramp-up in acute infection, and we have modeled the antibody effect on the kinetics of plasma viremia. The first detectable B-cell response was in the form of immune complexes 8 days after plasma virus detection, whereas the first free plasma anti-HIV-1 antibody was to gp41 and appeared 13 days after the appearance of plasma virus. In contrast, envelope gp120-specific antibodies were delayed an additional 14 days. Mathematical modeling of the earliest viral dynamics was performed to determine the impact of antibody on HIV replication in vivo as assessed by plasma VL. Including the initial anti-gp41 immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgM, or both responses in the model did not significantly impact the early dynamics of plasma VL. These results demonstrate that the first IgM and IgG antibodies induced by transmitted HIV-1 are capable of binding virions but have little impact on acute-phase viremia at the timing and magnitude that they occur in natural infection.
PMCID: PMC2593361  PMID: 18842730
20.  Broadly Neutralizing Human Anti-HIV Antibody 2G12 Is Effective in Protection against Mucosal SHIV Challenge Even at Low Serum Neutralizing Titers 
PLoS Pathogens  2009;5(5):e1000433.
Developing an immunogen that elicits broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) is an elusive but important goal of HIV vaccine research, especially after the recent failure of the leading T cell based HIV vaccine in human efficacy trials. Even if such an immunogen can be developed, most animal model studies indicate that high serum neutralizing concentrations of bNAbs are required to provide significant benefit in typical protection experiments. One possible exception is provided by the anti-glycan bNAb 2G12, which has been reported to protect macaques against CXCR4-using SHIV challenge at relatively low serum neutralizing titers. Here, we investigated the ability of 2G12 administered intravenously (i.v.) to protect against vaginal challenge of rhesus macaques with the CCR5-using SHIVSF162P3. The results show that, at 2G12 serum neutralizing titers of the order of 1∶1 (IC90), 3/5 antibody-treated animals were protected with sterilizing immunity, i.e. no detectable virus replication following challenge; one animal showed a delayed and lowered primary viremia and the other animal showed a course of infection similar to 4 control animals. This result contrasts strongly with the typically high titers observed for protection by other neutralizing antibodies, including the bNAb b12. We compared b12 and 2G12 for characteristics that might explain the differences in protective ability relative to neutralizing activity. We found no evidence to suggest that 2G12 transudation to the vaginal surface was significantly superior to b12. We also observed that the ability of 2G12 to inhibit virus replication in target cells through antibody-mediated effector cell activity in vitro was equivalent or inferior to b12. The results raise the possibility that some epitopes on HIV may be better vaccine targets than others and support targeting the glycan shield of the envelope.
Author Summary
An effective HIV vaccine should elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies, i.e. antibodies that neutralize a wide spectrum of different HIVs in vitro. A number of human monoclonal antibodies have been isolated with broad neutralization and shown to protect macaques against vaginal HIV challenge. Protection is generally correlated with neutralization and requires relatively high antibody concentrations that may be difficult to achieve by vaccination. Here, we show that one monoclonal antibody (2G12) is unusually potent in protection relative to its neutralizing ability as hinted at by earlier data. Further studies eliminate an unusual ability of 2G12 to be transported to the vagina (site of infection) as a possible explanation for our observations. Although the precise mechanism is unclear, the studies have important implications for HIV vaccine design in general by suggesting that some vaccine targets on HIV may be better than others and, specifically, by suggesting that the sugar coat of HIV may be a particularly rewarding target if appropriate immunogens can be designed.
PMCID: PMC2674935  PMID: 19436712
21.  Heavily glycosylated, highly fit SIVMne variants continue to diversify and undergo selection after transmission to a new host and they elicit early antibody dependent cellular responses but delayed neutralizing antibody responses 
Virology Journal  2008;5:90.
Lentiviruses such as human and simian immunodeficiency viruses (HIV and SIV) undergo continual evolution in the host. Previous studies showed that the late-stage variants of SIV that evolve in one host replicate to significantly higher levels when transmitted to a new host. However, it is unknown whether HIVs or SIVs that have higher replication fitness are more genetically stable upon transmission to a new host. To begin to address this, we analyzed the envelope sequence variation of viruses that evolved in animals infected with variants of SIVMne that had been cloned from an index animal at different stages of infection.
We found that there was more evolution of envelope sequences from animals infected with the late-stage, highly replicating variants than in animals infected with the early-stage, lower replicating variant, despite the fact that the late virus had already diversified considerably from the early virus in the first host, prior to transmission. Many of the changes led to the addition or shift in potential-glycosylation sites-, and surprisingly, these changes emerged in some cases prior to the detection of neutralizing antibody responses, suggesting that other selection mechanisms may be important in driving virus evolution. Interestingly, these changes occurred after the development of antibody whose anti-viral function is dependent on Fc-Fcγ receptor interactions.
SIV variants that had achieved high replication fitness and escape from neutralizing antibodies in one host continued to evolve upon transmission to a new host. Selection for viral variants with glycosylation and other envelope changes may have been driven by both neutralizing and Fcγ receptor-mediated antibody activities.
PMCID: PMC2518139  PMID: 18680596
22.  Rhesus Macaque Polyclonal and Monoclonal Antibodies Inhibit Simian Immunodeficiency Virus in the Presence of Human or Autologous Rhesus Effector Cells 
Journal of Virology  2006;80(18):9217-9225.
Although antibodies can prevent or modulate lentivirus infections in nonhuman primates, the biological functions of antibody responsible for such effects are not known. We sought to determine the role of antibody-dependent cell-mediated virus inhibition (ADCVI), an antibody function that inhibits virus yield from infected cells in the presence of Fc receptor-bearing effector cells, in preventing or controlling SIVmac251 infection in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Using CEMx174 cells infected with simian immunodeficiency virus mac251 (SIVmac251), both polyclonal and monoclonal anti-SIV antibodies were capable of potent virus inhibition in the presence of human peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) effector cells. In the absence of effector cells, virus inhibition was generally very poor. PBMCs from healthy rhesus macaques were also capable of mediating virus inhibition either against SIVmac251-infected CEMx174 cells or against infected, autologous rhesus target cells. We identified both CD14+ cells and, to a lesser extent, CD8+ cells as the effector cell population in the rhesus PBMCs. Finally, pooled, nonneutralizing SIV-antibody-positive serum, shown in a previous study to prevent infection of neonatal macaques after oral SIVmac251 challenge, had potent virus-inhibitory activity in the presence of effector cells; intact immunoglobulin G, rather than F(ab′)2, was required for such activity. This is the first demonstration of both humoral and cellular ADCVI functions in the macaque-SIV model. ADCVI activity in nonneutralizing serum that prevents SIV infection suggests that ADCVI may be a protective immune function. Finally, our data underscore the potential importance of Fc-Fc receptor interactions in mediating biological activities of antibody.
PMCID: PMC1563916  PMID: 16940533
23.  Role of CD8+ cells in controlling replication of nonpathogenic Simian Immunodeficiency Virus SIVmac1A11 
Virology Journal  2006;3:22.
Infection of macaques with the avirulent molecular clone SIVmac1A11 results in transient low viremia and no disease. To investigate if this low viremia is solely due to intrinsic poor replication fitness or is mediated by efficient immune-mediated control, 5 macaques were inoculated intravenously with SIVmac1A11. Three animals that were depleted of CD8+ cells at the start of infection had more prolonged viremia with peak virus levels 1 to 2 logs higher than those of 2 animals that received a non-depleting control antibody. Thus, CD8+ cell-mediated immune responses play an important role in controlling SIVmac1A11 replication during acute viremia.
PMCID: PMC1500998  PMID: 16584561
25.  Interactions between Natural Killer Cells and Antibody Fc Result in Enhanced Antibody Neutralization of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(4):2042-2049.
Antibodies can prevent lentivirus infections in animals and may play a role in controlling viral burden in established infection. In preventing and particularly in controlling infection, antibodies likely function in the presence of large quantities of virus. In this study, we explored the mechanisms by which antibodies neutralize large inocula of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) on different target cells. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) from HIV-infected patients was tested for neutralizing activity against primary R5 strains of HIV-1 at inocula ranging from 100 to 20,000 50% tissue culture infective doses. At all virus inocula, inhibition by antibody was enhanced when target cells for virus growth were monocyte-depleted, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) rather than CD4+ lymphocytes. However, enhanced inhibition on PBMCs was greatest with larger amounts of virus. Depleting PBMCs of natural killer (NK) cells, which express Fc receptors for IgG (FcγRs), abrogated the enhanced antibody inhibition, whereas adding NK cells to CD4+ lymphocytes restored inhibition. There was no enhanced inhibition on PBMCs when F(ab′)2 was used. Further experiments demonstrated that the release of β-chemokines, most likely through FcγR triggering of NK cells, contributed modestly to the antiviral activity of antibody on PBMCs and that antibody-coated virus adsorbed to uninfected cells provided a target for NK cell-mediated inhibition of HIV-1. These results indicate that Fc-FcγR interactions enhance the ability of antibody to neutralize HIV-1. Since FcγR-bearing cells are always present in vivo, FcγR-mediated antibody function may play a role in the ability of antibody to control lentivirus infection.
PMCID: PMC546539  PMID: 15681406

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