Chinks in the armor of the HIV-1 Envelope glycan shield: implications for immune escape from anti-glycan broadly neutralizing antibodies

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2017-01-15

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Virology

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Elsevier

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University of Cape Town

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Abstract
Glycans on HIV-1 Envelope serve multiple functions including blocking epitopes from antibodies. We show that removal of glycan 301, a major target of anti-V3/glycan antibodies, has substantially different effects in two viruses. While glycan 301 on Du156.12 blocks epitopes commonly recognized by sera from chronically HIV-1-infected individuals, it does not do so on CAP45.G3, suggesting that removing the 301 glycan has a smaller effect on the integrity of the glycan shield in CAP45.G3. Changes in sensitivity to broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies suggest that the interaction between glycan 301 and the CD4 binding site differ substantially between these 2 viruses. Molecular modeling suggests that removal of glycan 301 likely exposes a greater surface area of the V3 and C4 regions in Du156.12. Our data indicate that the contribution of the 301 glycan to resistance to common neutralizing antibodies varies between viruses, allowing for easier selection for its loss in some viruses.
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