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J Virol. 2001 Oct;75(19):9287-96.

Evidence for similar recognition of the conserved neutralization epitopes of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 envelope gp120 in humans and macaques.

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Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10016, USA.


We compared the immune responses to the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope glycoproteins in humans and macaques with the use of clade A and clade B isogenic V3 loop glycan-possessing and -deficient viruses. We found that the presence or absence of the V3 loop glycan affects to similar extents immune recognition by a panel of anti-HIV human and anti-simian/human immunodeficiency virus (anti-SHIV) macaque sera. All sera tested neutralized the glycan-deficient viruses, in which the conserved CD4BS and CD4i epitopes are more exposed, better than the glycan-containing viruses. The titer of broadly neutralizing antibodies appears to be higher in the sera of macaques infected with glycan-deficient viruses. Collectively, our data add legitimacy to the use of SHIV-macaque models for testing the efficacy of HIV-1 Env-based immunogens. Furthermore, they suggest that antibodies to the CD4BS and CD4i sites of gp120 are prevalent in human and macaque sera and that the use of immunogens in which these conserved neutralizing epitopes are more exposed is likely to increase their immunogenicity.

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