The role of amino acid changes in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 transmembrane domain in antibody binding and neutralization.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Virology, Volume 421, Issue 2, p.235-44 (2011)


2011, Amino Acid Substitution, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antibodies, Neutralizing, Antibody Affinity, Antibody Specificity, Basic Sciences Division, Biologics Production Core Facility, Center-Authored Paper, GENOMICS, HEK293 Cells, HIV Antibodies, HIV Envelope Protein gp120, HIV Envelope Protein gp41, HIV-1, Human Biology Division, Humans, Nov 11, November 2011, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Sequence Analysis, Protein


The detailed interactions between antibodies and the HIV-1 envelope protein that lead to neutralization are not well defined. Here, we show that several conservative substitutions in the envelope gp41 led to a ~100 fold increase in neutralization sensitivity to monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that target gp41: 4E10 and 2F5. Substitution at position 675 alone did not impact neutralization susceptibility to MAbs that recognize more distal sites in gp120 (b12, VRC01, PG9). However, changes at position 675 in conjunction with Thr to Ala at position 569 increased the neutralization sensitivity to all gp41 and gp120 MAbs and plasma, in some cases by more than 1000-fold. Interestingly, the T569A change had a dramatic effect on b12 binding, but no effect on neutralization sensitivity. This finding suggests that antibody neutralization may occur through a multi-step pathway that includes distinct changes in envelope conformation that may affect binding but not neutralization susceptibility.