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Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2009 Sep;4(5):358-63. doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e32832ea7e8.

Specificity of the autologous neutralizing antibody response.

Author information

1
AIDS Virus Research Unit, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa. pennym@nicd.ac.za

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

It has long been known that autologous neutralizing antibodies (AnAbs) exert pressure on the envelope of HIV, resulting in neutralization escape. However, recently, progress has been made in uncovering the precise targets of these potent early antibodies.

RECENT FINDINGS:

AnAbs primarily target variable regions of the HIV-1 envelope, explaining the strain-specificity of these antibodies. Despite high neutralizing potential and cross-reactivity, anti-V3 antibodies do not contribute to autologous neutralization. The V1V2 is commonly immunogenic in early HIV-1 and simian human immunodeficiency virus infections, though the nature of these epitopes remains to be determined. In subtype C viruses, the C3 region is a neutralization target, possibly as a result of its more exposed and amphipathic structure. Autologous neutralization appears to be mediated by very few AnAb specificities that develop sequentially suggesting the possibility of immunological hierarchies for both binding and neutralizing antibodies. The role of AnAbs in preventing superinfection and in restricting virus replication is reexamined in the context of recent data.

SUMMARY:

New studies have greatly contributed toward our understanding of the specificities mediating autologous neutralization and highlighted potential vulnerabilities on transmitted viruses. However, the contribution of AnAbs to the development of neutralization breadth remains to be characterized.

PMID:
20048698
PMCID:
PMC3004050
DOI:
10.1097/COH.0b013e32832ea7e8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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