Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Dec 20;102(51):18514-9. Epub 2005 Dec 9.

Neutralizing antibody responses drive the evolution of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 envelope during recent HIV infection.

Author information

Department of Pathology, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0679, USA.


HIV type 1 (HIV-1) can rapidly escape from neutralizing antibody responses. The genetic basis of this escape in vivo is poorly understood. We compared the pattern of evolution of the HIV-1 env gene between individuals with recent HIV infection whose virus exhibited either a low or a high rate of escape from neutralizing antibody responses. We demonstrate that the rate of viral escape at a phenotypic level is highly variable among individuals, and is strongly correlated with the rate of amino acid substitutions. We show that dramatic escape from neutralizing antibodies can occur in the relative absence of changes in glycosylation or insertions and deletions ("indels") in the envelope; conversely, changes in glycosylation and indels occur even in the absence of neutralizing antibody responses. Comparison of our data with the predictions of a mathematical model support a mechanism in which escape from neutralizing antibodies occurs via many amino acid substitutions, with low cross-neutralization between closely related viral strains. Our results suggest that autologous neutralizing antibody responses may play a pivotal role in the diversification of HIV-1 envelope during the early stages of infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Secondary source ID, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms


Secondary source ID

Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center