Intra-spike crosslinking overcomes antibody evasion by HIV-1.
ABSTRACT: Antibodies developed during HIV-1 infection lose efficacy as the viral spike mutates. We postulated that anti-HIV-1 antibodies primarily bind monovalently because HIV's low spike density impedes bivalent binding through inter-spike crosslinking, and the spike structure prohibits bivalent binding through intra-spike crosslinking. Monovalent binding reduces avidity and potency, thus expanding the range of mutations permitting antibody evasion. To test this idea, we engineered antibody-based molecules capable of bivalent binding through intra-spike crosslinking. We used DNA as a "molecular ruler" to measure intra-epitope distances on virion-bound spikes and construct intra-spike crosslinking molecules. Optimal bivalent reagents exhibited up to 2.5 orders of magnitude increased potency (>100-fold average increases across virus panels) and identified conformational states of virion-bound spikes. The demonstration that intra-spike crosslinking lowers the concentration of antibodies required for neutralization supports the hypothesis that low spike densities facilitate antibody evasion and the use of molecules capable of intra-spike crosslinking for therapy or passive protection.
Project description:Passive transfer of broadly neutralizing human antibodies against HIV-1 protects macaques against infection. However, HIV-1 uses several strategies to escape antibody neutralization, including mutation of the gp160 viral surface spike, a glycan shield to block antibody access to the spike, and expression of a limited number of viral surface spikes, which interferes with bivalent antibody binding. The latter is thought to decrease antibody apparent affinity or avidity, thereby interfering with neutralizing activity. To test the idea that increasing apparent affinity might enhance neutralizing activity, we engineered bispecific anti-HIV-1 antibodies (BiAbs) that can bind bivalently by virtue of one scFv arm that binds to gp120 and a second arm to the gp41 subunit of gp160. The individual arms of the BiAbs preserved the binding specificities of the original anti-HIV IgG antibodies and together bound simultaneously to gp120 and gp41. Heterotypic bivalent binding enhanced neutralization compared with the parental antibodies. We conclude that antibody recognition and viral neutralization of HIV can be improved by heteroligation.
Project description:Monoclonal antibodies b12 and 4E10 are broadly neutralizing against a variety of strains of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The epitope for b12 maps to the CD4-binding site in the gp120 subunit of HIV-1's trimeric gp120-gp41 envelope spike, whereas 4E10 recognizes the membrane-proximal external region (MPER) of gp41. Here, we constructed and compared a series of architectures for the b12 and 4E10 combining sites that differed in size, valency, and flexibility. In a comparative analysis of the ability of the b12 and 4E10 constructs to neutralize a panel of clade B HIV-1 strains, we observed that the ability of bivalent constructs to cross-link envelope spikes on the virion surface made a greater contribution to neutralization by b12 than by 4E10. Increased distance and flexibility between antibody combining sites correlated with enhanced neutralization for both antibodies, suggesting restricted mobility for the trimeric spikes embedded in the virion surface. The size of a construct did not appear to be correlated with neutralization potency for b12, but larger 4E10 constructs exhibited a steric occlusion effect, which we interpret as evidence for restricted access to its gp41 epitope. The combination of limited avidity and steric occlusion suggests a mechanism for evading neutralization by antibodies that target epitopes in the highly conserved MPER of gp41.
Project description:Neutralizing antibody responses to coronaviruses mainly target the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the trimeric spike. Here, we characterized polyclonal immunoglobulin Gs (IgGs) and Fabs from COVID-19 convalescent individuals for recognition of coronavirus spikes. Plasma IgGs differed in their focus on RBD epitopes, recognition of alpha- and beta-coronaviruses, and contributions of avidity to increased binding/neutralization of IgGs over Fabs. Using electron microscopy, we examined specificities of polyclonal plasma Fabs, revealing recognition of both S1A and RBD epitopes on SARS-CoV-2 spike. Moreover, a 3.4 Å cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of a neutralizing monoclonal Fab-spike complex revealed an epitope that blocks ACE2 receptor binding. Modeling based on these structures suggested different potentials for inter-spike crosslinking by IgGs on viruses, and characterized IgGs would not be affected by identified SARS-CoV-2 spike mutations. Overall, our studies structurally define a recurrent anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody class derived from VH3-53/VH3-66 and similarity to a SARS-CoV VH3-30 antibody, providing criteria for evaluating vaccine-elicited antibodies.
Project description:Neutralizing antibody responses to coronaviruses focus on the trimeric spike, with most against the receptor-binding domain (RBD). Here we characterized polyclonal IgGs and Fabs from COVID-19 convalescent individuals for recognition of coronavirus spikes. Plasma IgGs differed in their degree of focus on RBD epitopes, recognition of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and mild coronaviruses, and how avidity effects contributed to increased binding/neutralization of IgGs over Fabs. Electron microscopy reconstructions of polyclonal plasma Fab-spike complexes showed recognition of both S1A and RBD epitopes. A 3.4Å cryo-EM structure of a neutralizing monoclonal Fab-S complex revealed an epitope that blocks ACE2 receptor-binding on "up" RBDs. Modeling suggested that IgGs targeting these sites have different potentials for inter-spike crosslinking on viruses and would not be greatly affected by identified SARS-CoV-2 spike mutations. These studies structurally define a recurrent anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody class derived from VH3-53/VH3-66 and similarity to a SARS-CoV VH3-30 antibody, providing criteria for evaluating vaccine-elicited antibodies.
Project description:Recent structural studies on the astrovirus virion and viral proteins have yielded exciting new insights into the molecular mechanisms of the astrovirus life cycle. The 25 Å-resolution cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) reconstructions of the astrovirus virion reveal a solid capsid shell studded with spikes. Proteolytic maturation of the virus particle results in capsid conformational changes, most prominently at the spikes. High-resolution crystal structures of the human and avian astrovirus capsid spike domains have shed light on potential host receptors and species specificity. Together, both the structural studies on the astrovirus virion and capsid spike domains have revealed similarities to hepatitis E virus, suggesting an evolutionary relationship. The only other structural information on astrovirus is from the high-resolution crystal structure of the protease that is involved in nonstructural polyprotein processing. Overall, these structural studies have led a better understanding of the astrovirus life cycle, including astrovirus assembly, virus release, maturation, receptor binding, antibody neutralization, and nonstructural polyprotein processing.
Project description:During immune responses, antibodies are selected for their ability to bind to foreign antigens with high affinity, in part by their ability to undergo homotypic bivalent binding. However, this type of binding is not always possible. For example, the small number of gp140 glycoprotein spikes displayed on the surface of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disfavours homotypic bivalent antibody binding. Here we show that during the human antibody response to HIV, somatic mutations that increase antibody affinity also increase breadth and neutralizing potency. Surprisingly, the responding naive and memory B cells produce polyreactive antibodies, which are capable of bivalent heteroligation between one high-affinity anti-HIV-gp140 combining site and a second low-affinity site on another molecular structure on HIV. Although cross-reactivity to self-antigens or polyreactivity is strongly selected against during B-cell development, it is a common serologic feature of certain infections in humans, including HIV, Epstein-Barr virus and hepatitis C virus. Seventy-five per cent of the 134 monoclonal anti-HIV-gp140 antibodies cloned from six patients with high titres of neutralizing antibodies are polyreactive. Despite the low affinity of the polyreactive combining site, heteroligation demonstrably increases the apparent affinity of polyreactive antibodies to HIV.
Project description:Trypsin primes rotavirus for efficient infectivity by cleaving the spike protein, VP4, into VP8* and VP5*. A recombinant VP5* fragment has a trimeric, folded-back structure. Comparison of this structure with virion spikes suggests that a rearrangement, analogous to those of enveloped virus fusion proteins, may mediate membrane penetration by rotavirus during entry. To detect this inferred rearrangement of virion-associated authentic VP5*, we raised conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies against the recombinant VP5* fragment in its putative post-membrane penetration conformation. Using one of these antibodies, we demonstrate that rotavirus uncoating triggers a conformational change in the cleaved VP4 spike to yield rearranged VP5*.
Project description:The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)/simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) envelope spike (Env) mediates viral entry into host cells. The V3 loop of the gp120 component of the Env trimer contributes to the coreceptor binding site and is a target for neutralizing antibodies. We used cryo-electron tomography to visualize the binding of CD4 and the V3 loop monoclonal antibody (MAb) 36D5 to gp120 of the SIV Env trimer. Our results show that 36D5 binds gp120 at the base of the V3 loop and suggest that the antibody exerts its neutralization effect by blocking the coreceptor binding site. The antibody does this without altering the dynamics of the spike motion between closed and open states when CD4 is bound. The interaction between 36D5 and SIV gp120 is similar to the interaction between some broadly neutralizing anti-V3 loop antibodies and HIV-1 gp120. Two conformations of gp120 bound with CD4 are revealed, suggesting an intrinsic dynamic nature of the liganded Env trimer. CD4 binding substantially increases the binding of 36D5 to gp120 in the intact Env trimer, consistent with CD4-induced changes in the conformation of gp120 and the antibody binding site. Binding by MAb 36D5 does not substantially alter the proportions of the two CD4-bound conformations. The position of MAb 36D5 at the V3 base changes little between conformations, indicating that the V3 base serves as a pivot point during the transition between these two states.IMPORTANCE Glycoprotein spikes on the surfaces of SIV and HIV are the sole targets available to the immune system for antibody neutralization. Spikes evade the immune system by a combination of a thick layer of polysaccharide on the surface (the glycan shield) and movement between spike domains that masks the epitope conformation. Using SIV virions whose spikes were "decorated" with the primary cellular receptor (CD4) and an antibody (36D5) at part of the coreceptor binding site, we visualized multiple conformations trapped by the rapid freezing step, which were separated using statistical analysis. Our results show that the CD4-induced conformational dynamics of the spike enhances binding of the antibody.
Project description:HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) spikes are prime vaccine candidates, at least in principle, but suffer from instability, molecular heterogeneity and a low copy number on virions. We anticipated that chemical cross-linking of HIV-1 would allow purification and molecular characterization of trimeric Env spikes, as well as high copy number immunization. Broadly neutralizing antibodies bound tightly to all major quaternary epitopes on cross-linked spikes. Covalent cross-linking of the trimer also stabilized broadly neutralizing epitopes, although surprisingly some individual epitopes were still somewhat sensitive to heat or reducing agent. Immunodepletion using non-neutralizing antibodies to gp120 and gp41 was an effective method for removing non-native-like Env. Cross-linked spikes, purified via an engineered C-terminal tag, were shown by negative stain EM to have well-ordered, trilobed structure. An immunization was performed comparing a boost with Env spikes on virions to spikes cross-linked and captured onto nanoparticles, each following a gp160 DNA prime. Although differences in neutralization did not reach statistical significance, cross-linked Env spikes elicited a more diverse and sporadically neutralizing antibody response against Tier 1b and 2 isolates when displayed on nanoparticles, despite attenuated binding titers to gp120 and V3 crown peptides. Our study demonstrates display of cross-linked trimeric Env spikes on nanoparticles, while showing a level of control over antigenicity, purity and density of virion-associated Env, which may have relevance for Env based vaccine strategies for HIV-1.The envelope spike (Env) is the target of HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies, which a successful vaccine will need to elicit. However, native Env on virions is innately labile, as well as heterogeneously and sparsely displayed. We therefore stabilized Env spikes using a chemical cross-linker and removed non-native Env by immunodepletion with non-neutralizing antibodies. Fixed native spikes were recognized by all classes of known broadly neutralizing antibodies but not by non-neutralizing antibodies and displayed on nanoparticles in high copy number. An immunization experiment in rabbits revealed that cross-linking Env reduced its overall immunogenicity; however, high-copy display on nanoparticles enabled boosting of antibodies that sporadically neutralized some relatively resistant HIV-1 isolates, albeit at a low titer. This study describes the purification of stable and antigenically correct Env spikes from virions that can be used as immunogens.
Project description:As a major surface glycoprotein of enveloped viruses, the virus spike protein is a primary target for vaccines and anti-viral treatments. Current vaccines aiming at controlling the COVID-19 pandemic are mostly directed against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. To promote virus entry and facilitate immune evasion, spikes must be dynamic. Interactions with host receptors and coreceptors trigger a cascade of conformational changes/structural rearrangements in spikes, which bring virus and host membranes in proximity for membrane fusion required for virus entry. Spike-mediated viral membrane fusion is a dynamic, multi-step process, and understanding the structure-function-dynamics paradigm of virus spikes is essential to elucidate viral membrane fusion, with the ultimate goal of interventions. However, our understanding of this process primarily relies on individual structural snapshots of endpoints. How these endpoints are connected in a time-resolved manner, and the order and frequency of conformational events underlying virus entry, remain largely elusive. Single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) has provided a powerful platform to connect structure-function in motion, revealing dynamic aspects of spikes for several viruses: SARS-CoV-2, HIV-1, influenza, and Ebola. This review focuses on how smFRET imaging has advanced our understanding of virus spikes' dynamic nature, receptor-binding events, and mechanism of antibody neutralization, thereby informing therapeutic interventions.