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J Virol. 2013 Sep;87(18):10232-43. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00837-13. Epub 2013 Jul 17.

A novel rabbit monoclonal antibody platform to dissect the diverse repertoire of antibody epitopes for HIV-1 Env immunogen design.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

The majority of available monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) in the current HIV vaccine field are generated from HIV-1-infected people. In contrast, preclinical immunogenicity studies have mainly focused on polyclonal antibody responses in experimental animals. Although rabbits have been widely used for antibody studies, there has been no report of using rabbit MAbs to dissect the specificity of antibody responses for AIDS vaccine development. Here we report on the production of a panel of 12 MAbs from a New Zealand White (NZW) rabbit that was immunized with an HIV-1 JR-FL gp120 DNA prime and protein boost vaccination regimen. These rabbit MAbs recognized a diverse repertoire of envelope (Env) epitopes ranging from the highly immunogenic V3 region to several previously underappreciated epitopes in the C1, C4, and C5 regions. Nine MAbs showed cross-reactivity to gp120s of clades other than clade B. Increased somatic mutation and extended CDR3 were observed with Ig genes of several molecularly cloned rabbit MAbs. Phylogenic tree analysis showed that the heavy chains of MAbs recognizing the same region on gp120 tend to segregate into an independent subtree. At least three rabbit MAbs showed neutralizing activities with various degrees of breadth and potency. The establishment of this rabbit MAb platform will significantly enhance our ability to test optimal designs of Env immunogens to gain a better understanding of the structural specificity and evolution process of Env-specific antibody responses elicited by candidate AIDS vaccines.

PMID:
23864612
PMCID:
PMC3754024
DOI:
10.1128/JVI.00837-13
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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