Glycosylation site-specific analysis of clade C HIV-1 envelope proteins.
ABSTRACT: The extensive glycosylation of HIV-1 envelope proteins (Envs), gp120/gp41, is known to play an important role in evasion of host immune response by masking key neutralization epitopes and presenting the Env glycosylation as "self" to the host immune system. The Env glycosylation is mostly conserved but continues to evolve to modulate viral infectivity. Thus, profiling Env glycosylation and distinguishing interclade and intraclade glycosylation variations are necessary components in unraveling the effects of glycosylation on Env's immunogenicity. Here, we describe a mass spectrometry-based approach to characterize the glycosylation profiles of two rVV-expressed clade C Envs by identifying the glycan motifs on each glycosylation site and determining the degree of glycosylation site occupancy. One Env is a wild-type Env, while the other is a synthetic "consensus" Env (C.CON). The observed differences in the glycosylation profiles between the two clade C Envs show that C.CON has more unutilized sites and high levels of high mannose glycans; these features mimic the glycosylation profile of a Group M consensus immunogen, CON-S. Our results also reveal a clade-specific glycosylation pattern. Discerning interclade and intraclade glycosylation variations could provide valuable information in understanding the molecular differences among the different HIV-1 clades and in designing new Env-based immunogens.
Project description:HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) glycosylation is important because individual glycans are components of multiple broadly neutralizing antibody epitopes, while shielding other sites that might otherwise be immunogenic. The glycosylation on Env is influenced by a variety of factors, including the genotype of the protein, the cell line used for its expression, and the details of the construct design. Here, we used a mass spectrometry (MS)-based approach to map the complete glycosylation profile at every site in multiple HIV-1 Env trimers, accomplishing two goals. (i) We determined which glycosylation sites contain conserved glycan profiles across many trimeric Envs. (ii) We identified the variables that impact Env's glycosylation profile at sites with divergent glycosylation. Over half of the gp120 glycosylation sites on 11 different trimeric Envs have a conserved glycan profile, indicating that a native consensus glycosylation profile does indeed exist among trimers. We showed that some soluble gp120s and gp140s exhibit highly divergent glycosylation profiles compared to trimeric Env. We also assessed the impact of several variables on Env glycosylation: truncating the full-length Env; producing Env, instead of the more virologically relevant T lymphocytes, in CHO cells; and purifying Env with different chromatographic platforms, including nickel-nitrilotriacetic acid (Ni-NTA), 2G12, and PGT151 affinity. This report provides the first consensus glycosylation profile of Env trimers, which should serve as a useful benchmark for HIV-1 vaccine developers. This report also defines the sites where glycosylation may be impacted when Env trimers are truncated or produced in CHO cells.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> A protective HIV-1 vaccine will likely include a recombinant version of the viral envelope glycoprotein (Env). Env is highly glycosylated, and yet vaccine developers have lacked guidance on how to assess whether their immunogens have optimal glycosylation. The following important questions are still unanswered. (i) What is the "target" glycosylation profile, when the goal is to generate a natively glycosylated protein? (ii) What variables exert the greatest influence on Env glycosylation? We identified numerous sites on Env where the glycosylation profile does not deviate in 11 different Env trimers, and we investigated the impact on the divergent glycosylation profiles of changing the genotype of the Env sequence, the construct design, the purification method, and the producer cell type. The data presented here give vaccine developers a "glycosylation target" for their immunogens, and they show how protein production variables can impact Env glycosylation.
Project description:The vast majority of studies with candidate immunogens based on the human immunodeficiency virus envelope (Env) have been conducted with Env proteins derived from clade B viruses isolated during chronic infection. Whether non-clade B Env protein immunogens will elicit antibodies with epitope specificities that are similar to those of antibodies elicited by clade B Envs and whether the antibodies elicited by Envs derived from early transmitted viruses will be similar to those elicited by Envs derived from viruses isolated during chronic infection are currently unknown. Here we performed immunizations with four clade A Envs, cloned directly from the peripheral blood of infected individuals during acute infection, which differed in lengths and extents of glycosylation. The antibody responses elicited by these four Envs were compared to each other and to those elicited by a well-characterized clade B Env immunogen derived from the SF162 virus, which was isolated during chronic infection. Only one clade A Env, the one with the fewer glycosylation sites, elicited homologous neutralizing antibodies (NAbs); these did not target the V1, V2, or V3 regions. In contrast, all four clade A Envs elicited anti-V3 NAbs against "easy-to-neutralize" clade B and clade A isolates, irrespective of the variable region length and extent of glycosylation of the Env used as an immunogen. These anti-V3 NAbs did not access their epitopes on homologous and heterologous clade A, or B, neutralization-resistant viruses. The length and extent of glycosylation of the variable regions on the clade A Env immunogens tested did not affect the breadth of the elicited NAbs. Our data also indicate that the development of cross-reactive NAbs against clade A viruses faces similar hurdles to the development of cross-reactive anti-clade B NAbs.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Limited information is available on HIV-1 Indian clade C sensitivities to autologous antibodies during the course of natural infection. In the present study, a total of 37 complete envelope clones (Env) were amplified at different time points predominantly from the plasma of five Indian patients with recent HIV-1 infection and envelope-pseudotyped viruses were examined for their magnitude of sensitivity to autologous plasma antibodies during natural course of infection. RESULTS: Variable low levels of neutralization were consistently detected with contemporaneous autologous plasma. In contrast to clade B and African clade C HIV-1 envelopes, Env clones obtained from four patients were found to be resistant to IgG1b12. The majority of the Env clones were resistant to 2G12 and 2F5 due to the absence of the minimal motifs required for antibody recognition, but were sensitive to 4E10. Nonetheless, Env clones from one patient were found to be sensitive to 2G12, atypical for clade C, and one Env clone exhibited unusual sensitivity to 17b, suggesting spontaneous exposure of CD4i epitopes. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Env clones were closely clustered within patients. Variation in the potential N-linked glycosylation pattern also appeared to be different in patients over the course of infection. Interestingly, we found that the sensitivity of Envs to contemporaneous autologous NAbs correlated positively with increased sensitivity to soluble CD4 and inversely with anti-CD4 antibody and Envs with increased NAb sensitivity were able to efficiently infect HeLa cells expressing low CD4. CONCLUSION: Our data showed considerable variations in autologous neutralization of these early HIV-1 clade C Envs in each of these patients and indicate greater exposure to CD4 of Envs that showed increased autologous neutralization. Interestingly, Env clones obtained from a single patient at different time points were found to retain sensitivity to b12 antibody that binds to CD4 binding site in Env in contrast to Envs obtained from other patients. However, we did not find any association between increased b12 sensitivity of Envs obtained from this particular patient with their degree of exposure to CD4.
Project description:The HIV-1 envelope (Env) is a key determinant in mediating viral entry and fusion to host cells and is a major target for HIV vaccine development. While Env is typically about 50% glycan by mass, glycosylation sites are known to evolve, with some glycosylation profiles presumably being more effective at facilitating neutralization escape than others. Thus, characterizing glycosylation patterns of Env and native virions and correlating glycosylation profiles with infectivity and Env immunogenicity are necessary first steps in designing effective immunogens. Herein, we describe a mass spectrometry-based strategy to determine HIV-1 Env glycosylation patterns and have compared two mammalian cell expressed recombinant Env immunogens, one a limited immunogen and one that induces cross-clade neutralizing antibodies. We have used a glycopeptide-based mass mapping approach to identify and characterize Env's glycosylation patterns by elucidating which sites are utilized and what type of glycan motif is present at each glycosylation site. Our results show that the immunogens displayed different degrees of glycosylation as well as a different characteristic set of glycan motifs. Thus, these techniques can be used to (1) define glycosylation profiles of recombinant Env proteins and Env on mature virions, (2) define specific carbohydrate moieties at each glycosylation site, and (3) determine the role of certain carbohydrates in HIV-1 infectivity and in modulation of Env immunogenicity.
Project description:HIV-1 Envelope (Env) protein is the sole target of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) that arise during infection to neutralize autologous variants. Under this immune pressure, HIV escape variants are continuously selected and over the course of infection Env becomes more neutralization resistant. Many common alterations are known to affect sensitivity to NAbs, including residues encoding potential N-linked glycosylation sites (PNGS). Knowledge of Env motifs associated with neutralization resistance is valuable for the design of an effective Env-based vaccine so we characterized Envs isolated longitudinally from a SHIV(SF162P4) infected macaque for sensitivity to neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) B12, 2G12, 4E10 and 2F5. The early Env, isolated from plasma at day 56 after infection, was the most sensitive and the late Env, from day 670, was the most resistant to MAbs. We identified four PNGS in these Envs that accumulated over time at positions 130, 139, 160 and 397. We determined that removal of these PNGS significantly increased neutralization sensitivity to 2G12, and conversely, we identified mutations by in silico analyses that contributed resistance to 2G12 neutralization. In order to expand our understanding of these PNGS, we analyzed Envs from clade B HIV-infected human subjects and identified additional glycan and amino acid changes that could affect neutralization by 2G12 in a context-dependent manner. Taken together, these in vitro and in silico analyses of clade B Envs revealed that 2G12 resistance is achieved by previously unrecognized PNGS substitutions in a context-dependent manner and by subject-specific pathways.
Project description:HIV-1 Env, a trimer of gp120-gp41 heterodimers, mediates membrane fusion after binding host receptor CD4. Receptor binding displaces V1V2 loops from Env's apex, allowing coreceptor binding and opening Env to enable gp41-mediated fusion. We present 3.54 Å and 4.06 Å cryoelectron microscopy structures of partially open soluble native-like Env trimers (SOSIPs) bound to CD4. One structure, a complex with a coreceptor-mimicking antibody that binds both CD4 and gp120, stabilizes the displaced V1V2 and reveals its structure. Comparing partially and fully open Envs with closed Envs shows that gp41 rearrangements are independent of the CD4-induced rearrangements that result in V1V2 displacement and formation of a 4-stranded bridging sheet. These findings suggest ordered conformational changes before coreceptor binding: (1) gp120 opening inducing side-chain rearrangements and a compact gp41 central helix conformation, and (2) 4-stranded bridging-sheet formation and V1V2 displacement. These analyses illuminate potential receptor-induced Env changes and inform design of therapeutics disrupting viral entry.
Project description:Biologically functional clade C envelope (Env) glycoproteins from the chronically (donor) and newly (recipient) infected partners of four heterosexual transmission pairs in Zambia were cloned and characterized previously. In each case, the donor viral quasispecies contained Envs that were resistant to autologous neutralization by contemporaneous plasma, while the recipient Envs were sensitive to neutralizing antibodies in this donor plasma sample. The donor Envs also varied in length, glycosylation, and amino acid sequence of the V1V2 hypervariable domain of gp120, while the recipient Envs were much more homogeneous. To assess the contribution of V1V2 to the neutralization phenotype of the donor Envs, V1V2 domains from neutralization-sensitive recipient Envs were replaced with donor V1V2 domains, and the autologous neutralization sensitivities of the chimeric Envs were evaluated using a virus-pseudotyping assay. Long donor V1V2 domains regulated sensitivity to autologous neutralization, although the effect was dependent on the Env background. Short donor V1V2 domains did not confer neutralization resistance. Primary sequence differences in V2 were also found to influence neutralization sensitivity in one set of recipient Envs. The results demonstrate that expansion of the V1V2 domain is one pathway to escape from autologous neutralization in subtype C Envs. However, V1V2-independent mechanisms of resistance also exist, suggesting that escape is multifaceted in chronic subtype C infection.
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccine development requires selection of appropriate envelope (Env) immunogens. Twenty HIV-1 Env glycoproteins were examined for their ability to bind human anti-HIV-1 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and then used as immunogens in guinea pigs to identify promising immunogens. These included five Envs derived from chronically infected individuals, each representing one of five common clades and eight consensus Envs based on these five clades, as well as the consensus of the entire HIV-1 M group, and seven transmitted/founder (T/F) Envs from clades B and C. Sera from immunized guinea pigs were tested for neutralizing activity using 36 HIV-1 Env-pseudotyped viruses. All Envs bound to CD4 binding site, membrane-proximal, and V1/V2 MAbs with similar apparent affinities, although the T/F Envs bound with higher affinity to the MAb 17b, a CCR5 coreceptor binding site antibody. However, the various Envs differed in their ability to induce neutralizing antibodies. Consensus Envs elicited the most potent responses, but neutralized only a subset of viruses, including mostly easy-to-neutralize tier 1 and some more-difficult-to-neutralize tier 2 viruses. T/F Envs elicited fewer potent neutralizing antibodies but exhibited greater breadth than chronic or consensus Envs. Finally, chronic Envs elicited the lowest level and most limited breadth of neutralizing antibodies overall. Thus, each group of Env immunogens elicited a different antibody response profile. The complementary benefits of consensus and T/F Env immunogens raise the possibility that vaccines utilizing a combination of consensus and T/F Envs may be able to induce neutralizing responses with greater breadth and potency than single Env immunogens.
Project description:The immediate evolutionary space accessible to HIV is largely determined by how single amino acid mutations affect fitness. These mutational effects can shift as the virus evolves. However, the prevalence of such shifts in mutational effects remains unclear. Here, we quantify the effects on viral growth of all amino acid mutations to two HIV envelope (Env) proteins that differ at [Formula: see text]100 residues. Most mutations similarly affect both Envs, but the amino acid preferences of a minority of sites have clearly shifted. These shifted sites usually prefer a specific amino acid in one Env, but tolerate many amino acids in the other. Surprisingly, shifts are only slightly enriched at sites that have substituted between the Envs-and many occur at residues that do not even contact substitutions. Therefore, long-range epistasis can unpredictably shift Env's mutational tolerance during HIV evolution, although the amino acid preferences of most sites are conserved between moderately diverged viral strains.
Project description:As the sole target of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) to HIV, the envelope glycoprotein (Env) trimer is the focus of vaccination strategies designed to elicit protective bnAbs in humans. Because HIV Env is densely glycosylated with 75-90 N-glycans per trimer, most bnAbs use or accommodate them in their binding epitope, making the glycosylation of recombinant Env a key aspect of HIV vaccine design. Upon analysis of three HIV strains, we here find that site-specific glycosylation of Env from infectious virus closely matches Envs from corresponding recombinant membrane-bound trimers. However, viral Envs differ significantly from recombinant soluble, cleaved (SOSIP) Env trimers, strongly impacting antigenicity. These results provide a benchmark for virus Env glycosylation needed for the design of soluble Env trimers as part of an overall HIV vaccine strategy.