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Virology. 2008 Mar 15;372(2):273-90. Epub 2007 Dec 3.

Comparative evaluation of trimeric envelope glycoproteins derived from subtype C and B HIV-1 R5 isolates.

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Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Inc., 4560 Horton Street, Emeryville, CA 94608, USA.

Erratum in

  • Virology. 2008 Nov 25;381(2):287. Diaz-Avalos, Ruben [added].


We previously reported that an envelope (Env) glycoprotein immunogen (o-gp140DeltaV2SF162) containing a partial deletion in the second variable loop (V2) derived from the R5-tropic HIV-1 isolate SF162 partially protected vaccinated rhesus macaques against pathogenic SHIV(SF162P4) virus. Extending our studies to subtype C isolate TV1, we have purified o-gp140DeltaV2TV1 (subtype C DeltaV2 trimer) to homogeneity, performed glycosylation analysis, and determined its ability to bind CD4, as well as a panel of well-characterized neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAb). In general, critical epitopes are preserved on the subtype C DeltaV2 trimer; however, we did not observe significant binding for the b12 mAb. The molecular mass of subtype C DeltaV2 trimer was found to be 450 kDa, and the hydrodynamic radius was found to be 10.87 nm. Our data suggest that subtype C DeltaV2 trimer binds to CD4 with an affinity comparable to o-gp140DeltaV2SF162 (subtype B DeltaV2 trimer). Using isothermal titration calorimetric (ITC) analysis, we demonstrated that all three CD4 binding sites (CD4-BS) in both subtype C and B trimers are exposed and accessible. However, compared to subtype B trimer, the three CD4-BS in subtype C trimer have different affinities for CD4, suggesting a cooperativity of CD4 binding in subtype C trimer but not in subtype B trimer. Negative staining electron microscopy of the subtype C DeltaV2 trimer has demonstrated that it is in fact a trimer. These results highlight the importance of studying subtype C Env, and also of developing appropriate subtype C-specific reagents that may be used for better immunological characterization of subtype C Env for developing an AIDS vaccine.

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