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Human antibody variable region gene usage in HIV-1 infection.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston 02215, USA.


Human antibody variable region gene usage during human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is examined in the following review, and several hypotheses are presented to account for the distinct patterns of antibody gene expression associated with infection. Evidence supporting qualitatively biased antibody gene expression has been derived from analysis of the human humoral immune response by isoelectric focusing (IEF) and serological and molecular studies of immunoglobulin (Ig) from different lymphoid compartments of HIV-1-infected patients. Preferential usage of heavy-chain variable region (VH) gene families 1 and 4 is supported by serological studies of serum Ig and molecular characterization of anti-HIV-1 human monoclonal antibodies derived from infected patients. Negative biases against VH3 family gene usage are detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) studies of peripheral blood lymphocytes from AIDS patients but not by combinatorial phage display library techniques. Biased antibody gene usage and expression during HIV-1 infection may be related to HIV-1 pathogenesis by limiting the available HIV-1 neutralizing repertoire. Further molecular characterization of anti-HIV-1 antibodies and in vivo expression of V-region genes during HIV-1 infection should provide important information regarding antibody gene expression and its relationship to HIV-1 pathogenesis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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