AIDS research and human retroviruses

Glycan-Dependent Neutralizing Antibodies Are Frequently Elicited in Individuals Chronically Infected with HIV-1 Clade B or C.

PMID 26149894


A number of potent broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1 have recently been identified that target epitopes on the viral envelope that contain N-linked glycans. It remains unknown how frequently glycan-dependent neutralizing antibodies generally arise during the course of natural infection or whether particular glycosylation sites are preferentially targeted. We tested sera with a broad range of neutralization activity from individuals infected with HIV-1 clades B or C against panels of HIV-1 Env pseudoviruses that lacked specific glycans in the outer domain glycan cluster (ODGC) or inner domain glycan cluster (IDGC) to determine the presence of glycan-dependent neutralizing antibodies. Overall, 54% of individuals were observed to have neutralizing antibodies targeting these glycan regions. Glycan-specific neutralizing antibodies were readily detected in sera that were selected for having broad, moderate, or weak neutralization potency and breadth. Our results demonstrate that glycan-specific neutralizing antibodies arise with appreciable frequency in individuals chronically infected with HIV-1 clades B and C. Antibody responses that commonly occur during natural infection may be more feasible to induce by vaccination; thus glycan-specific neutralizing antibodies may be desirable responses to elicit with candidate HIV-1 vaccines.