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Virology. 1991 Apr;181(2):481-9.

Immunodominance and antigenic variation of the principal neutralization domain of HIV-1.

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Human Retrovirus Laboratory, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The principal neutralization domain (PND) of HIV-1 is located in the third variable region (V3) of the envelope glycoprotein gp 120. Cross-reactivity of experimental and natural sera with recombinant proteins containing the V3 region of four HIV-1 variants showed that a group of viruses (among which HIV-1 MN) had antigenically similar V3 regions. The V3 regions of HIV-1 IIIB and HIV-1 RF were antigenically distinct. Antibodies raised to V3 domains of two isolates from the "MN group" neutralized HIV-1 MN (and not HIV-1 IIIB), thus confirming the antigenic similarity of V3 of these isolates to that of HIV-1 MN. Human antibodies to the V3 region were shown to be mainly directed to the central area in V3, where the neutralization domain is. In addition, antibody reactivities in sera of 397 Dutch and 39 Tanzanian HIV-1-infected individuals show that the V3 neutralization domain is highly antigenic, and that viruses from the MN group predominate in The Netherlands and to a lesser extent in Tanzania. Thus, if the protective value of antibodies to the PND can be established, then PND (poly)peptides derived from the MN group may be important components of a subunit vaccine against HIV-1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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