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J Virol. 1992 Jun;66(6):3602-8.

Cross-neutralization of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and 2 and simian immunodeficiency virus isolates.

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  • 1Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


In contrast to infrequent and low-titer cross-neutralization of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) isolates by HIV-2- and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-positive sera, extensive cross-neutralization of HIV-2NIH-Z, SIVMAC251, and SIVAGM208K occurs with high titer, suggesting conservation of epitopes and mechanism(s) of neutralization. The V3 regions of HIV-2 and SIV isolates, minimally related to the HIV-1 homolog, share significant sequence homology and are immunogenic in monkeys as well as in humans. Whereas the crown of the V3 loop is cross-reactive among HIV-1 isolates and elicits neutralizing antibodies of broad specificity, the SIV and especially HIV-2 crown peptides were not well recognized by cross-neutralizing antisera. V3 loop peptides of HIV-2 isolates did not elicit neutralizing antibodies in mice, guinea pigs, or a goat and together with SIV V3 peptides did not inhibit serum neutralization of HIV-2 and SIV. Thus, the V3 loops of HIV-2 and SIV do not appear to constitute simple linear neutralizing epitopes. In view of the immunogenicity of V3 peptides, the failure of conserved crown peptides to react with natural sera implies a significant role of loop conformation in antibody recognition. Our studies suggest that in addition to their grouping by envelope genetic relatedness, HIV-2 and SIV are neutralized similarly to each other but differently from HIV-1. The use of linear peptides of HIV-2 and SIV as immunogens may require greater attention to microconformation, and alternate subunit approaches may be needed in exploiting these viruses as vaccine models. Such approaches may also be applicable to the HIV-1 system in which conformational epitopes, in addition to the V3 loop, participate in virus neutralization.

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