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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1998 Sep 1;14(13):1115-28.

Molecular characterization of five neutralizing anti-HIV type 1 antibodies: identification of nonconventional D segments in the human monoclonal antibodies 2G12 and 2F5.

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Institute of Applied Microbiology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Vienna, Austria.


We have stabilized a panel of 33 hybridomas producing human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against HIV-1 gp160 and p24. Five of these antibodies were able to neutralize different HIV-1 isolates, and two of them (2F5 and 2G12) revealed remarkable potential to neutralize primary virus isolates of different clades in several in vitro tests. To determine whether a structural basis for neutralization could be identified, we analyzed the antibodies at the molecular level. This study reports the primary nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of the rearranged heavy and light chain V segments (VH, Vkappa) of the neutralizing MAbs (1B1, 1F7, 2F5, 2G12, and 3D5) and the nonneutralizing anti-gp41 MAb 3D6. Aligning the V segments with the nearest related germline genes illustrated the occurrence of somatic mutations. The neutralizing MAbs show mutational rates comparable to those of antibodies that appear in patients in whom the immune system is under constant antigenic pressure over a long period of time. In contrast, 3D6, which recognizes the immunodominant region on gp41, displays homologies as high as 97 and 98% compared with its VH and Vkappa germline genes. The diversity segments [D(H)] of 1B1, 1F7, 3D5, and 3D6 were assigned to single D(H) segments on the chromosomal D(H) locus. 2F5 presents a D(H) segment 52 nucleotides in length, which could be explained by fusion of two segments on the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus that have not yet been described as rearranged regions. 2G12 D(H) shows best homologies to a D(H) segment between D3-22 and D4-23. This D(H) segment could be the reason for the rare occurrence of antibodies competing with 2G12. Since this nearest related chromosomal region on the D(H) locus does not display recombination signals at the flanking regions, this segment is normally not taken into consideration as a site for immunoglobulin heavy chain rearrangement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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