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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2004 Nov;20(11):1254-8.

The cross-clade neutralizing activity of a human monoclonal antibody is determined by the GPGR V3 motif of HIV type 1.

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Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York 10016, USA.


Both polyclonal and monoclonal human antibodies (Abs) to the V3 domain of HIV-1 gp120 display cross-clade neutralizing activity against primary isolates and T cell-adapted virus strains. The most broadly neutralizing of the human anti-V3 monoclonal Abs (mAbs), 447-52D, recognizes 14 amino acids, including the GPxR core epitope at the tip of the V3 loop. Monoclonal Ab 447-52D neutralized 92% of 38 primary isolates carrying the GPGR V3 motif regardless of whether the viruses belonged to clades A, B, F, or H; in contrast, none of 19 viruses with the GPGQ and other non-GPGR/Q sequences at the tip of the V3 loop was sensitive to mAb 447-52D. These data are consistent with the crystallographic resolution of a complex of the Fab fragment of mAb 447-52D with a V3 peptide that shows that the binding specificity of the mAb is due to recognition of the GPGR motif at the tip of the loop. The critical role of the Arg residue in this motif was determined using viruses pseudotyped with the envelope of primary isolate CA1 containing the GPGR motif or with a mutated envelope with a Gln (Q) replacing the Arg (R) at the tip of the loop. While the wild-type pseudovirus was neutralized by mAb 447-52D, the pseudovirus carrying the point mutation was resistant to neutralization. These data illuminate the structural basis for both the breadth and specificity of a broadly neutralizing human mAb and contribute to our understanding of the epitopes recognized by Abs that protect against infection with HIV-1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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