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Immunol Cell Biol. 2007 Oct;85(7):511-7. Epub 2007 Jul 3.

Peptide mimotopes selected with HIV-1-blocking monoclonal antibodies against CCR5 represent motifs specific for HIV-1 entry.

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Georg-Speyer-Haus, Institute for Biomedical Research, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


CCR5 is a chemokine receptor that mediates entry of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1). Two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that block HIV-1 entry, 3A9 and 5C7, were used to select peptide mimotopes of sequences on CCR5 from phage displayed peptide libraries. The selected mimotofpes comprised motifs at the N-terminus and on the first and third extracellular loops (ECL1 and ECL3) of CCR5. Amino acids in these motifs were exchanged for alanines by site-directed mutagenesis (sdm) in the cDNA for human CCR5. Ensuing effects on antibody binding to CCR5, cellular entry of HIV-1 and chemokine-induced signalling were analysed by transfection of mutant cDNAs into HEK293.CD4 cells. For both mAbs, fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis was used to define overlapping conformational epitopes on CCR5 at the N-terminus, on ECL1 and ECL3. Mutation of the N-terminal motif 10YD11 prevented HIV-1 entry into transfected cells as judged by single round infection assays with R5 and R5X4 HIV-1 isolates, as did mutation of the motif 96FG97 in ECL1, whereas mutation of the motif 274RLD276 in ECL3 had only a minor effect. None of the motifs in CCR5 relevant to HIV-1 entry disrupted chemokine-induced signalling. Thus, peptide mimotopes of conformational contact sites of CCR5 with the paratope of mAbs 3A9 and 5C7 represent sites on CCR5 that are essential for HIV-1 entry. Structural knowledge of these mimotopes could help elucidate the nature of the interaction between CCR5 and HIV-1, and thus the derivation of specific inhibitors of entry of HIV-1 into susceptible cells without interference with chemokine signalling.

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