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Structure. 2011 May 11;19(5):691-9. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2011.02.012.

Structural analysis of human and macaque mAbs 2909 and 2.5B: implications for the configuration of the quaternary neutralizing epitope of HIV-1 gp120.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.


The quaternary neutralizing epitope (QNE) of HIV-1 gp120 is preferentially expressed on the trimeric envelope spikes of intact HIV virions, and QNE-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) potently neutralize HIV-1. Here, we present the crystal structures of the Fabs of human mAb 2909 and macaque mAb 2.5B. Both mAbs have long beta hairpin CDR H3 regions >20 Å in length that are each situated at the center of their respective antigen-binding sites. Computational analysis showed that the paratopes include the whole CDR H3, while additional CDR residues form shallow binding pockets. Structural modeling suggests a way to understand the configuration of QNEs and the antigen-antibody interaction for QNE mAbs. Our data will be useful in designing immunogens that may elicit potent neutralizing QNE Abs.

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