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J Gen Virol. 2008 Feb;89(Pt 2):554-66. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.83186-0.

Impact of glycosylation on antigenicity of simian immunodeficiency virus SIV239: induction of rapid V1/V2-specific non-neutralizing antibody and delayed neutralizing antibody following infection with an attenuated deglycosylated mutant.

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AIDS Research Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan.


Infection of rhesus macaques with a deglycosylation mutant, Delta5G, derived from SIV239, a pathogenic clone of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), led to robust acute-phase viral replication followed by a chronic phase with undetectable viral load. This study examined whether humoral responses in Delta5G-infected animals played any role in the control of infection. Neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) were elicited more efficiently in Delta5G-infected animals than in SIV239-infected animals. However, functional nAb measured by 90% neutralization was prominent in only two of the five Delta5G-infected animals, and only at 8 weeks post-infection (p.i.), when viral loads were already below 10(4) copies ml(-1). These results suggest a minimal role for nAbs in the control of the primary infection. In contrast, whilst Ab responses to epitopes localized to the variable loops V1/V2 were detected in all Delta5G-infected animals at 3 weeks p.i., this response was associated with a concomitant reduction in Ab responses to epitopes in gp41 compared with those in SIV239-infected animals. These results suggest that the altered surface glycosylation and/or conformation of viral spikes induce a humoral response against SIV that is distinct from the response induced by SIV239. More interestingly, whereas V1/V2-specific Abs were induced in all animals, these Abs were associated with vigorous Delta5G-specific virion capture ability in only two Delta5G-infected animals that exhibited a functional nAb response. Thus, whereas the deglycosylation mutant infection elicited early virion capture and subsequent nAbs, the responses differed among animals, suggesting the existence of host factors that may influence the functional humoral responses against human immunodeficiency virus/SIV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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