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2.
Cell Rep ; 35(1): 108937, 2021 Apr 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33826898

RESUMO

Soluble "SOSIP"-stabilized envelope (Env) trimers are promising HIV-vaccine immunogens. However, they induce high-titer responses against the glycan-free trimer base, which is occluded on native virions. To delineate the effect on base responses of priming with immunogens targeting the fusion peptide (FP) site of vulnerability, here, we quantify the prevalence of trimer-base antibody responses in 49 non-human primates immunized with various SOSIP-stabilized Env trimers and FP-carrier conjugates. Trimer-base responses account for ∼90% of the overall trimer response in animals immunized with trimer only, ∼70% in animals immunized with a cocktail of SOSIP trimer and FP conjugate, and ∼30% in animals primed with FP conjugates before trimer immunization. Notably, neutralization breadth in FP-conjugate-primed animals correlates inversely with trimer-base responses. Our data provide methods to quantify the prevalence of trimer-base responses and reveal that FP-conjugate priming, either alone or as part of a cocktail, can reduce the trimer-base response and improve the neutralization outcome.

3.
J Exp Med ; 218(4)2021 Apr 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33661303

RESUMO

IgG antibodies play a role in malaria immunity, but whether and how IgM protects from malaria and the biology of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf)-specific IgM B cells is unclear. In a Mali cohort spanning infants to adults, we conducted longitudinal analyses of Pf- and influenza-specific B cells. We found that Pf-specific memory B cells (MBCs) are disproportionally IgM+ and only gradually shift to IgG+ with age, in contrast to influenza-specific MBCs that are predominantly IgG+ from infancy to adulthood. B cell receptor analysis showed Pf-specific IgM MBCs are somatically hypermutated at levels comparable to influenza-specific IgG B cells. During acute malaria, Pf-specific IgM B cells expand and upregulate activation/costimulatory markers. Finally, plasma IgM was comparable to IgG in inhibiting Pf growth and enhancing phagocytosis of Pf by monocytes in vitro. Thus, somatically hypermutated Pf-specific IgM MBCs dominate in children, expand and activate during malaria, and produce IgM that inhibits Pf through neutralization and opsonic phagocytosis.

4.
J Infect Dis ; 2021 Mar 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33755731

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: We investigated frequency of reinfection with seasonal coronaviruses (HCoV) and serum antibody response following infection over 8 years in the Household Influenza Vaccine Evaluation cohort. METHODS: Households were followed annually for identification of acute respiratory illness with RT-PCR confirmed HCoV infection. Serum collected before and at two time points post infection were tested using a multiplex binding assay to quantify antibody to seasonal, SARS-CoV-1, and SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins and SARS-CoV-2 spike sub-domains and N protein. RESULTS: Of 3418 participants, 40% were followed for ≥3years. A total of 1004 HCoV infections were documented; 303 (30%) were reinfections of any HCoV type. The number of HCoV infections ranged from 1 to 13 per individual. The mean time to reinfection with the same type was estimated at 983 days for 229E, 578 days for HKU1, 615 days for OC43, and 711 days for NL63. Binding antibody levels to seasonal HCoVs were high, with little increase post-infection, and were maintained over time. Homologous, pre-infection antibody levels did not significantly correlate with odds of infection, and there was little cross response to SARS-CoV-2 proteins. CONCLUSIONS: Reinfection with seasonal HCoVs is frequent. Binding anti-spike protein antibodies do not correlate with protection from seasonal HCoV infection.

5.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1722, 2021 03 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33741916

RESUMO

Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) have been developed as potential countermeasures for seasonal and pandemic influenza. Deep characterization of these bnAbs and polyclonal sera provides pivotal understanding for influenza immunity and informs effective vaccine design. However, conventional virus neutralization assays require high-containment laboratories and are difficult to standardize and roboticize. Here, we build a panel of engineered influenza viruses carrying a reporter gene to replace an essential viral gene, and develop an assay using the panel for in-depth profiling of neutralizing antibodies. Replication of these viruses is restricted to cells expressing the missing viral gene, allowing it to be manipulated in a biosafety level 2 environment. We generate the neutralization profile of 24 bnAbs using a 55-virus panel encompassing the near-complete diversity of human H1N1 and H3N2, as well as pandemic subtype viruses. Our system offers in-depth profiling of influenza immunity, including the antibodies against the hemagglutinin stem, a major target of universal influenza vaccines.


Assuntos
Anticorpos Neutralizantes/imunologia , Anticorpos Antivirais/imunologia , Vírus da Influenza A/imunologia , Influenza Humana/virologia , Antígenos Virais/imunologia , Perfilação da Expressão Gênica , Glicoproteínas de Hemaglutininação de Vírus da Influenza/genética , Glicoproteínas de Hemaglutininação de Vírus da Influenza/imunologia , Hemaglutininas , Humanos , Imunidade , Vírus da Influenza A Subtipo H1N1/imunologia , Vírus da Influenza A Subtipo H3N2/imunologia , Vírus da Influenza A/genética , Vacinas contra Influenza/imunologia , Infecções por Orthomyxoviridae/virologia , Filogenia
6.
JCI Insight ; 6(8)2021 04 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33720905

RESUMO

Preexisting cross-reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 occurs in the absence of prior viral exposure. However, this has been difficult to quantify at the population level due to a lack of reliably defined seroreactivity thresholds. Using an orthogonal antibody testing approach, we estimated that about 0.6% of nontriaged adults from the greater Vancouver, Canada, area between May 17 and June 19, 2020, showed clear evidence of a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, after adjusting for false-positive and false-negative test results. Using a highly sensitive multiplex assay and positive/negative thresholds established in infants in whom maternal antibodies have waned, we determined that more than 90% of uninfected adults showed antibody reactivity against the spike protein, receptor-binding domain (RBD), N-terminal domain (NTD), or the nucleocapsid (N) protein from SARS-CoV-2. This seroreactivity was evenly distributed across age and sex, correlated with circulating coronaviruses' reactivity, and was partially outcompeted by soluble circulating coronaviruses' spike. Using a custom SARS-CoV-2 peptide mapping array, we found that this antibody reactivity broadly mapped to spike and to conserved nonstructural viral proteins. We conclude that most adults display preexisting antibody cross-reactivity against SARS-CoV-2, which further supports investigation of how this may impact the clinical severity of COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 vaccine responses.


Assuntos
Anticorpos Neutralizantes/sangue , Anticorpos Antivirais/sangue , Antígenos Virais/imunologia , /imunologia , Adulto , Anticorpos Neutralizantes/imunologia , Anticorpos Antivirais/imunologia , Colúmbia Britânica/epidemiologia , /diagnóstico , /estatística & dados numéricos , Reações Cruzadas/imunologia , Estudos Transversais , Feminino , Geografia , Voluntários Saudáveis , Humanos , Imunidade Humoral , Imunoensaio/estatística & dados numéricos , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Estudos Prospectivos , Índice de Gravidade de Doença
7.
Cell Host Microbe ; 29(4): 564-578.e9, 2021 04 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33662277

RESUMO

Determining which immunological mechanisms contribute to the development of broad neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) during HIV-1 infection is a major goal to inform vaccine design. Using samples from a longitudinal HIV-1 acute infection cohort, we found key B cell determinants within the first 14-43 days of viremia that predict the development of bNAbs years later. Individuals who develop neutralization breadth had significantly higher B cell engagement with the autologous founder HIV envelope (Env) within 1 month of initial viremia. A higher frequency of founder-Env-specific naive B cells was associated with increased B cell activation and differentiation and predictive of bNAb development. These data demonstrate that the initial B cell interaction with the founder HIV Env is important for the development of broadly neutralizing antibodies and provide evidence that events within HIV acute infection lead to downstream functional outcomes.

8.
J Immunol Methods ; 491: 112995, 2021 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33582148

RESUMO

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remains a significant public health issue. In recent years, passive immunization with broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNabs) is being considered as a potentially efficacious approach for fighting HIV. One candidate that holds great promise is represented by the CD4-binding site targeted bNab capable of neutralizing over 90% of circulating HIV strains, VRC01. VRC01 along with its variants and clonal relatives - VRC01-LS and VRC07-523LS are currently being evaluated as vaccines in a number of clinical trials for HIV treatment and prevention. While mucosal areas of the body serve as major ports of HIV entry, reliable quantification of bNabs for pharmacokinetic and bioavailability analyses has been challenging due to low antibody concentrations in these samples. We developed an immunoassay on the Singulex platform which enables ultra-sensitive quantification of VRC01, VRC07, VRC01-LS and VRC07-523LS with a greater than 4-log linear dynamic range (LDR) and less than 120 pg/mL lower limit of quantitation (LLOQ). We implemented this assay to quantify VRC01 levels in rectal, cervical and oral mucosal samples in two passive immunization studies conducted with VRC01 - VRC 601 and VRC 602. Our assay was able to successfully quantify VRC01 levels in mucosal samples from all dosage groups (5 - -40 mg/kg) in these trials. VRC01 levels in a significant proportion of these samples (37% in oral and 25% in rectal mucosa) were below the lower limits of quantitation of other traditional immunoassays used for VRC01 quantification. We also measured VRC01 levels in sera from these trials and found that VRC01 measurements made using our assay exhibited excellent correlation (r2 = 0.9509) with measurements made previously using Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Our assay provides a reliable, sensitive and accurate method for quantification of clinically relevant bNabs and will help delineate antibody infiltration and bioavailability characteristics in complex biological matrices (CBM) such as mucosal tissues. This will in turn help determine clinical antibody threshold concentrations required to mediate protection against HIV acquisition and serve to inform dosing regimens and clinical trial design for future efficacy trials with these bNabs.

10.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 8(4)2020 Nov 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33182279

RESUMO

The stalk domain of the hemagglutinin has been identified as a target for induction of protective antibody responses due to its high degree of conservation among numerous influenza subtypes and strains. However, current assays to measure stalk-based immunity are not standardized. Hence, harmonization of assay readouts would help to compare experiments conducted in different laboratories and increase confidence in results. Here, serum samples from healthy individuals (n = 110) were screened using a chimeric cH6/1 hemagglutinin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that measures stalk-reactive antibodies. We identified samples with moderate to high IgG anti-stalk antibody levels. Likewise, screening of the samples using the mini-hemagglutinin (HA) headless construct #4900 and analysis of the correlation between the two assays confirmed the presence and specificity of anti-stalk antibodies. Additionally, samples were characterized by a cH6/1N5 virus-based neutralization assay, an antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) assay, and competition ELISAs, using the stalk-reactive monoclonal antibodies KB2 (mouse) and CR9114 (human). A "pooled serum" (PS) consisting of a mixture of selected serum samples was generated. The PS exhibited high levels of stalk-reactive antibodies, had a cH6/1N5-based neutralization titer of 320, and contained high levels of stalk-specific antibodies with ADCC activity. The PS, along with blinded samples of varying anti-stalk antibody titers, was distributed to multiple collaborators worldwide in a pilot collaborative study. The samples were subjected to different assays available in the different laboratories, to measure either binding or functional properties of the stalk-reactive antibodies contained in the serum. Results from binding and neutralization assays were analyzed to determine whether use of the PS as a standard could lead to better agreement between laboratories. The work presented here points the way towards the development of a serum standard for antibodies to the HA stalk domain of phylogenetic group 1.

11.
Immunity ; 53(5): 952-970.e11, 2020 Nov 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33098766

RESUMO

Precise targeting of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) to immunoglobulin (Ig) loci promotes antibody class switch recombination (CSR) and somatic hypermutation (SHM), whereas AID targeting of non-Ig loci can generate oncogenic DNA lesions. Here, we examined the contribution of G-quadruplex (G4) nucleic acid structures to AID targeting in vivo. Mice bearing a mutation in Aicda (AIDG133V) that disrupts AID-G4 binding modeled the pathology of hyper-IgM syndrome patients with an orthologous mutation, lacked CSR and SHM, and had broad defects in genome-wide AIDG133V chromatin localization. Genome-wide analyses also revealed that wild-type AID localized to MHCII genes, and AID expression correlated with decreased MHCII expression in germinal center B cells and diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Our findings indicate a crucial role for G4 binding in AID targeting and suggest that AID activity may extend beyond Ig loci to regulate the expression of genes relevant to the physiology and pathology of activated B cells.

12.
medRxiv ; 2020 Oct 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33052362

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Quantifying antibody reactivity against multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens at the population level may help understand individual differences in COVID-19 severity. Pre-existing low antibody cross-reactivity may be particularly prevalent among childcare providers, including pediatric health care workers (HCW) who may be more exposed to circulating coronaviruses. METHODS: Cross-sectional study that included adults in the Vancouver area in British Columbia (BC), Canada, between May 17 and June 19, 2020. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was ascertained by measuring total SARS-CoV-2 IgG/M/A antibodies against a recombinant spike (S1) protein, and adjusted for bias due to false-positive and false-negative test results. A novel, high sensitivity multiplex assay was also used to profile IgGs against four SARS-CoV-2 antigens, SARS-CoV and four circulating coronaviruses. FINDINGS: Among 276 participants (71% HCW), three showed evidence of direct viral exposure, yielding an adjusted seroprevalence of 0.60% [95%CI 0% - 2.71%], with no difference between HCW and non-HCW, or between paediatric and adult HCW. Among the remaining 273 unexposed individuals, 7.3% [95%CI 4.5% - 11.1%], 48.7 [95%CI 42.7% - 54.8%] and 82.4% [95%CI 77.4% - 86.7%] showed antibody reactivity against SARS-CoV-2 RBD, N or Spike proteins, respectively. SARS-CoV-2 reactivity did not correlate with age, sex, did not differ between HCW and non-HCW (prevalence: 1.0% vs 1.0%; P=1.00) and between pediatric and adult HCW (prevalence: 0.7% vs 1.6%; P=0.54), and weakly correlated with reactivity to circulating coronaviruses (Spearman rho range: 0.130 to 0.224 for 7 significant out of 16 correlations; false-discovery rate-adjusted for a total of 36 correlations). INTERPRETATION: A substantial proportion of individuals showed low, but detectable antibody reactivity against SARS-CoV-2 antigens in this population despite a low evidence of direct SARS-CoV-2 exposure.

13.
N Engl J Med ; 2020 Sep 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32991794

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Testing of vaccine candidates to prevent infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in an older population is important, since increased incidences of illness and death from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have been associated with an older age. METHODS: We conducted a phase 1, dose-escalation, open-label trial of a messenger RNA vaccine, mRNA-1273, which encodes the stabilized prefusion SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S-2P) in healthy adults. The trial was expanded to include 40 older adults, who were stratified according to age (56 to 70 years or ≥71 years). All the participants were assigned sequentially to receive two doses of either 25 µg or 100 µg of vaccine administered 28 days apart. RESULTS: Solicited adverse events were predominantly mild or moderate in severity and most frequently included fatigue, chills, headache, myalgia, and pain at the injection site. Such adverse events were dose-dependent and were more common after the second immunization. Binding-antibody responses increased rapidly after the first immunization. By day 57, among the participants who received the 25-µg dose, the anti-S-2P geometric mean titer (GMT) was 323,945 among those between the ages of 56 and 70 years and 1,128,391 among those who were 71 years of age or older; among the participants who received the 100-µg dose, the GMT in the two age subgroups was 1,183,066 and 3,638,522, respectively. After the second immunization, serum neutralizing activity was detected in all the participants by multiple methods. Binding- and neutralizing-antibody responses appeared to be similar to those previously reported among vaccine recipients between the ages of 18 and 55 years and were above the median of a panel of controls who had donated convalescent serum. The vaccine elicited a strong CD4 cytokine response involving type 1 helper T cells. CONCLUSIONS: In this small study involving older adults, adverse events associated with the mRNA-1273 vaccine were mainly mild or moderate. The 100-µg dose induced higher binding- and neutralizing-antibody titers than the 25-µg dose, which supports the use of the 100-µg dose in a phase 3 vaccine trial. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; mRNA-1273 Study ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04283461.).

14.
Clin Pharmacol Ther ; 2020 Aug 31.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32866318

RESUMO

VRC01 is a first-in-class, potent, broadly neutralizing antibody that targets the CD4 binding site of gp120 on HIV-1 viruses, and is under development as a novel HIV therapeutic. This study utilized population pharmacokinetic (PK) modeling to characterize VRC01 PK to guide dosing selection for ongoing phase II clinical trials in pediatric patients. Combining VRC01 PK data from 3 adult and 1 infant clinical trials, a total of 1,475 VRC01 serum concentrations from 100 participants were used in the analysis (40 infants and 60 adults). VRC01 was administered either i.v. or s.c. (1-40 mg/kg). All infants received s.c. doses as compared with 13% s.c. and 87% i.v. in adults. The data were well-described by a two-compartment model. Clearance was 37% higher in adults with HIV infection and 83% lower in infants than adults. Subcutaneous bioavailability was 55% in adults. Rapid absorption was seen in infants indicating therapeutic levels could be achieved quickly. Monte Carlo simulations were used to determine optimal dosing and demonstrated 40 mg/kg s.c. at weeks 0, 2, 6, and 10 would maintain VRC01 levels at the suppressive target concentration of 50 µg/mL for the first 14 weeks of life in infants. The current analysis provides new insight into differences in monoclonal antibody PK between infants and adults and demonstrates the utility of a population PK approach in informing drug development for infant populations.

15.
Cell Rep ; 32(5): 107981, 2020 Aug 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32755575

RESUMO

The HIV fusion peptide (FP) is a promising vaccine target. FP-directed monoclonal antibodies from vaccinated macaques have been identified that neutralize up to ∼60% of HIV strains; these vaccinations, however, have involved ∼1 year with an extended neutralization-eclipse phase without measurable serum neutralization. Here, in 32 macaques, we test seven vaccination regimens, each comprising multiple immunizations of FP-carrier conjugates and HIV envelope (Env) trimers. Comparisons of vaccine regimens reveal FP-carrier conjugates to imprint cross-clade neutralizing responses and a cocktail of FP conjugate and Env trimer to elicit the earliest broad responses. We identify a signature, appearing as early as week 6 and involving the frequency of B cells recognizing both FP and Env trimer, predictive of vaccine-elicited breadth ∼1 year later. Immune monitoring of B cells in response to vaccination can thus enable vaccine insights even in the absence of serum neutralization, here identifying FP imprinting, cocktail approach, and early signature as means to improve FP-directed vaccine responses.

16.
Cell Host Microbe ; 28(3): 434-444.e4, 2020 09 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32619441

RESUMO

Understanding how broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) to influenza hemagglutinin (HA) naturally develop in humans is critical to the design of universal influenza vaccines. Several classes of bnAbs directed to the conserved HA stem were found in multiple individuals, including one encoded by heavy-chain variable domain VH6-1. We describe two genetically similar VH6-1 bnAb clonotypes from the same individual that exhibit different developmental paths toward broad neutralization activity. One clonotype evolved from a germline precursor recognizing influenza group 1 subtypes to gain breadth to group 2 subtypes. The other clonotype recognized group 2 subtypes and developed binding to group 1 subtypes through somatic hypermutation. Crystal structures reveal that the specificity differences are primarily mediated by complementarity-determining region H3 (CDR H3). Thus, while VH6-1 provides a framework for development of HA stem-directed bnAbs, sequence differences in CDR H3 junctional regions during VDJ recombination can alter reactivity and evolutionary pathways toward increased breadth.

17.
Elife ; 92020 06 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32510329
18.
Immunity ; 52(5): 842-855.e6, 2020 05 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32353250

RESUMO

B cell subsets expressing the transcription factor T-bet are associated with humoral immune responses and autoimmunity. Here, we examined the anatomic distribution, clonal relationships, and functional properties of T-bet+ and T-bet- memory B cells (MBCs) in the context of the influenza-specific immune response. In mice, both T-bet- and T-bet+ hemagglutinin (HA)-specific B cells arose in germinal centers, acquired memory B cell markers, and persisted indefinitely. Lineage tracing and IgH repertoire analyses revealed minimal interconversion between T-bet- and T-bet+ MBCs, and parabionts showed differential tissue residency and recirculation properties. T-bet+ MBCs could be subdivided into recirculating T-betlo MBCs and spleen-resident T-bethi MBCs. Human MBCs displayed similar features. Conditional gene deletion studies revealed that T-bet expression in B cells was required for nearly all HA stalk-specific IgG2c antibodies and for durable neutralizing titers to influenza. Thus, T-bet expression distinguishes MBC subsets that have profoundly different homing, residency, and functional properties, and mediate distinct aspects of humoral immune memory.


Assuntos
Especificidade de Anticorpos/imunologia , Subpopulações de Linfócitos B/imunologia , Linfócitos B/imunologia , Memória Imunológica/imunologia , Especificidade de Órgãos/imunologia , Proteínas com Domínio T/imunologia , Animais , Anticorpos Neutralizantes/imunologia , Subpopulações de Linfócitos B/metabolismo , Linfócitos B/metabolismo , Centro Germinativo/citologia , Centro Germinativo/imunologia , Centro Germinativo/metabolismo , Anticorpos Anti-HIV/imunologia , Humanos , Vírus da Influenza A/imunologia , Vírus da Influenza A/fisiologia , Influenza Humana/imunologia , Influenza Humana/virologia , Camundongos , Proteínas com Domínio T/genética , Proteínas com Domínio T/metabolismo
19.
Clin Immunol ; 215: 108440, 2020 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32330555

RESUMO

Perinatally HIV-infected children (PHIV), despite successful antiretroviral therapy, present suboptimal responses to vaccinations compared to healthy-controls (HC). Here we investigated phenotypic and transcriptional signatures of H1N1-specific B-cells (H1N1-Sp) in PHIV, differentially responding to trivalent-influenza-vaccine (TIV), and HC. Patients were categorized in responders (R) and non-responders (NR) according to hemagglutination-inhibition-assay at baseline and 21 days after TIV. No differences in H1N1-Sp frequencies were found between groups. H1N1-Sp transcriptional analysis revealed a distinct signature between PHIV and HC. NR presented higher PIK3C2B and NOD2 expression compared to R, confirmed by downregulation of PIK3C2B in resting-memory of R after H1N1 in-vitro stimulation. In conclusion this study confirms that qualitative rather than quantitative analyses are needed to characterize immune responses in PHIV. These results further suggest that higher PIK3C2B in H1N1-Sp of NR is associated with lower H1N1 immunogenicity and may be targeted by future modulating strategies to improve TIV responses in PHIV.

20.
J Virol ; 94(13)2020 06 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32295908

RESUMO

HIV-1 envelope (Env) trimers, stabilized in a prefusion-closed conformation, can elicit humoral responses capable of neutralizing HIV-1 strains closely matched in sequence to the immunizing strain. One strategy to increase elicited neutralization breadth involves vaccine priming of immune responses against a target site of vulnerability, followed by vaccine boosting of these responses with prefusion-closed Env trimers. This strategy has succeeded at the fusion peptide (FP) site of vulnerability in eliciting cross-clade neutralizing responses in standard vaccine-test animals. However, the breadth and potency of the elicited responses have been less than optimal. Here, we identify three mutations (3mut), Met302, Leu320, and Pro329, that stabilize the apex of the Env trimer in a prefusion-closed conformation and show antigenically, structurally, and immunogenically that combining 3mut with other approaches (e.g., repair and stabilize and glycine-helix breaking) yields well-behaved clade C-Env trimers capable of boosting the breadth of FP-directed responses. Crystal structures of these trimers confirmed prefusion-closed apexes stabilized by hydrophobic patches contributed by Met302 and Leu320, with Pro329 assuming canonically restricted dihedral angles. We substituted the N-terminal eight residues of FP (FP8, residues 512 to 519) of these trimers with the second most prevalent FP8 sequence (FP8v2, AVGLGAVF) and observed a 3mut-stabilized consensus clade C-Env trimer with FP8v2 to boost the breadth elicited in guinea pigs of FP-directed responses induced by immunogens containing the most prevalent FP8 sequence (FP8v1, AVGIGAVF). Overall, 3mut can stabilize the Env trimer apex, and the resultant apex-stabilized Env trimers can be used to expand the neutralization breadth elicited against the FP site of vulnerability.IMPORTANCE A major hurdle to the development of an effective HIV-1 vaccine is the elicitation of serum responses capable of neutralizing circulating strains of HIV, which are extraordinarily diverse in sequence and often highly neutralization resistant. Recently, we showed how sera with 20 to 30% neutralization breadth could, nevertheless, be elicited in standard vaccine test animals by priming with the most prevalent N-terminal 8 residues of the HIV-1 fusion peptide (FP8), followed by boosting with a stabilized BG505-envelope (Env) trimer. Here, we show that subsequent boosting with a 3mut-apex-stabilized consensus C-Env trimer, modified to have the second most prevalent FP8 sequence, elicits higher neutralization breadth than that induced by continued boosting with the stabilized BG505-Env trimer. With increased neutralizing breadth elicited by boosting with a heterologous trimer containing the second most prevalent FP8 sequence, the fusion peptide-directed immune-focusing approach moves a step closer toward realizing an effective HIV-1 vaccine regimen.

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