Natively glycosylated HIV-1 Env structure reveals new mode for antibody recognition of the CD4-binding site.
ABSTRACT: HIV-1 vaccine design is informed by structural studies elucidating mechanisms by which broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) recognize and/or accommodate N-glycans on the trimeric envelope glycoprotein (Env). Variability in high-mannose and complex-type Env glycoforms leads to heterogeneity that usually precludes visualization of the native glycan shield. We present 3.5-Å- and 3.9-Å-resolution crystal structures of the HIV-1 Env trimer with fully processed and native glycosylation, revealing a glycan shield of high-mannose and complex-type N-glycans, which we used to define complete epitopes of two bNAbs. Env trimer was complexed with 10-1074 (against the V3-loop) and IOMA, a new CD4-binding site (CD4bs) antibody. Although IOMA derives from VH1-2*02, the germline gene of CD4bs-targeting VRC01-class bNAbs, its light chain lacks the short CDRL3 that defines VRC01-class bNAbs. Thus IOMA resembles 8ANC131-class/VH1-46-derived CD4bs bNAbs, which have normal-length CDRL3s. The existence of bNAbs that combine features of VRC01-class and 8ANC131-class antibodies has implications for immunization strategies targeting VRC01-like bNAbs.
Project description:Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) isolated from chronically HIV-1 infected individuals reveal important information regarding how antibodies target conserved determinants of the envelope glycoprotein (Env) spike such as the primary receptor CD4 binding site (CD4bs). Many CD4bs-directed bNAbs use the same heavy (H) chain variable (V) gene segment, VH1-2*02, suggesting that activation of B cells expressing this allele is linked to the generation of this type of Ab. Here, we identify the rhesus macaque VH1.23 gene segment to be the closest macaque orthologue to the human VH1-2 gene segment, with 92% homology to VH1-2*02. Of the three amino acids in the VH1-2*02 gene segment that define a motif for VRC01-like antibodies (W50, N58, flanking the HCDR2 region, and R71), the two identified macaque VH1.23 alleles described here encode two. We demonstrate that immunization with soluble Env trimers induced CD4bs-specific VH1.23-using Abs with restricted neutralization breadth. Through alanine scanning and structural studies of one such monoclonal Ab (MAb), GE356, we demonstrate that all three HCDRs are involved in neutralization. This contrasts to the highly potent CD4bs-directed VRC01 class of bNAb, which bind Env predominantly through the HCDR2. Also unlike VRC01, GE356 was minimally modified by somatic hypermutation, its light (L) chain CDRs were of average lengths and it displayed a binding footprint proximal to the trimer axis. These results illustrate that the Env trimer immunogen used here activates B cells encoding a VH1-2 gene segment orthologue, but that the resulting Abs interact distinctly differently with the HIV-1 Env spike compared to VRC01.
Project description:Broadly neutralizing antibody (bnAb) induction is a high priority for effective HIV-1 vaccination. VRC01-class bnAbs that target the CD4 binding site (CD4bs) of trimeric HIV-1 envelope (Env) glycoprotein spikes are particularly attractive to elicit because of their extraordinary breadth and potency of neutralization in vitro and their ability to protect against infection in animal models. Glycans bordering the CD4bs impede the binding of germline-reverted forms of VRC01-class bnAbs and therefore constitute a barrier to early events in initiating the correct antibody lineages. Deleting a subset of these glycans permits Env antigen binding but not virus neutralization, suggesting that additional barriers impede germline-reverted VRC01-class antibody binding to functional Env trimers. We investigated the requirements for functional Env trimer engagement of VRC01-class naïve B cell receptors by using virus neutralization and germline-reverted antibodies as surrogates for the interaction. Targeted deletion of a subset of N-glycans bordering the CD4bs, combined with Man5 enrichment of remaining N-linked glycans that are otherwise processed into larger complex-type glycans, rendered HIV-1 426c Env-pseudotyped virus (subtype C, transmitted/founder) highly susceptible to neutralization by near germline forms of VRC01-class bnAbs. Neither glycan modification alone rendered the virus susceptible to neutralization. The potency of neutralization in some cases rivaled the potency of mature VRC01 against wildtype viruses. Neutralization by the germline-reverted antibodies was abrogated by the known VRC01 resistance mutation, D279K. These findings improve our understanding of the restrictions imposed by glycans in eliciting VRC01-class bnAbs and enable a neutralization-based strategy to monitor vaccine-elicited early precursors of this class of bnAbs.
Project description:Efforts to elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) against HIV-1 require understanding germline bNAb recognition of HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env). The VRC01-class bNAb family derived from the VH1-2*02 germline allele arose in multiple HIV-1-infected donors, yet targets the CD4-binding site on Env with common interactions. Modified forms of the 426c Env that activate germline-reverted B cell receptors are candidate immunogens for eliciting VRC01-class bNAbs. We present structures of germline-reverted VRC01-class bNAbs alone and complexed with 426c-based gp120 immunogens. Germline bNAb-426c gp120 complexes showed preservation of VRC01-class signature residues and gp120 contacts, but detectably different binding modes compared to mature bNAb-gp120 complexes. Unlike typical antibody-antigen interactions, VRC01-class germline antibodies exhibited preformed antigen-binding conformations for recognizing immunogens. Affinity maturation introduced substitutions increasing induced-fit recognition and electropositivity, potentially to accommodate negatively-charged complex-type N-glycans on gp120. These results provide general principles relevant to the unusual evolution of VRC01-class bNAbs and guidelines for structure-based immunogen design.
Project description:VRC01-class broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) target the CD4-binding site (CD4BS) of the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein (Env) and are of major interest for vaccine design. Unlike mature antibodies, corresponding VRC01-class germline precursors poorly bind to Env due to their weak ability to overcome the steric hindrance imparted by the glycans surrounding the CD4 BS. To date, immunogen design initiatives have largely relied on removal of these glycans and have met limited success in eliciting VRC01-class bnAbs. To understand elicitation of such bnAbs in humans, we structurally characterized the inferred germline precursor of VRC01 in complex with wild-type core gp120 by X-ray crystallography and modified trimeric 426c Env constructs by single-particle electron microscopy. We then validated glycan length and composition of germline VRC01-compatible Env constructs by EThcD LC-MS/MS. Our results reveal that engagement of the VRC01 germline antibody by a wild-type 426c gp120 is possible and can be enhanced by tailoring glycan length in the vicinity of the CD4BS.
Project description:Extensive shielding by N-glycans on the surface of the HIV envelope glycoproteins (Env) restricts B cell recognition of conserved neutralizing determinants. Elicitation of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) in selected HIV-infected individuals reveals that Abs capable of penetrating the glycan shield can be generated by the B cell repertoire. Accordingly, we sought to determine if targeted N-glycan deletion might alter antibody responses to Env. We focused on the conserved CD4 binding site (CD4bs) since this is a known neutralizing determinant that is devoid of glycosylation to allow CD4 receptor engagement, but is ringed by surrounding N-glycans. We selectively deleted potential N-glycan sites (PNGS) proximal to the CD4bs on well-ordered clade C 16055 native flexibly linked (NFL) trimers to potentially increase recognition by naïve B cells in vivo. We generated glycan-deleted trimer variants that maintained native-like conformation and stability. Using a panel of CD4bs-directed bNAbs, we demonstrated improved accessibility of the CD4bs on the N-glycan-deleted trimer variants. We showed that pseudoviruses lacking these Env PNGSs were more sensitive to neutralization by CD4bs-specific bNAbs but remained resistant to non-neutralizing mAbs. We performed rabbit immunogenicity experiments using two approaches comparing glycan-deleted to fully glycosylated NFL trimers. The first was to delete 4 PNGS sites and then boost with fully glycosylated Env; the second was to delete 4 sites and gradually re-introduce these N-glycans in subsequent boosts. We demonstrated that the 16055 PNGS-deleted trimers more rapidly elicited serum antibodies that more potently neutralized the CD4bs-proximal-PNGS-deleted viruses in a statistically significant manner and strongly trended towards increased neutralization of fully glycosylated autologous virus. This approach elicited serum IgG capable of cross-neutralizing selected tier 2 viruses lacking N-glycans at residue N276 (natural or engineered), indicating that PNGS deletion of well-ordered trimers is a promising strategy to prime B cell responses to this conserved neutralizing determinant.
Project description:HIV-1 neutralization requires Ab accessibility to the functional envelope glycoprotein (Env) spike. We recently reported the isolation of previously unidentified vaccine-elicited, CD4 binding site (CD4bs)-directed mAbs from rhesus macaques immunized with soluble Env trimers, indicating that this region is immunogenic in the context of subunit vaccination. To elucidate the interaction of the trimer-elicited mAbs with gp120 and their insufficient interaction with the HIV-1 primary isolate spike, we crystallized the Fab fragments of two mAbs, GE136 and GE148. Alanine scanning of their complementarity-determining regions, coupled with epitope scanning of their epitopes on gp120, revealed putative contact residues at the Ab/gp120 interface. Docking of the GE136 and GE148 Fabs to gp120, coupled with EM reconstructions of these nonbroadly neutralizing mAbs (non-bNAbs) binding to gp120 monomers and EM modeling to well-ordered trimers, suggested Ab approach to the CD4bs by a vertical angle of access relative to the more lateral mode of interaction used by the CD4bs-directed bNAbs VRC01 and PGV04. Fitting the structures into the available cryo-EM native spike density indicated clashes between these two vaccine-elicited mAbs and the topside variable region spike cap, whereas the bNAbs duck under this quaternary shield to access the CD4bs effectively on primary HIV isolates. These results provide a structural basis for the limited neutralizing breadth observed by current vaccine-induced, CD4bs-directed Abs and highlight the need for better ordered trimer immunogens. The analysis presented here therefore provides valuable information to guide HIV-1 vaccine immunogen redesign.
Project description:HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) is the sole target for broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) and the focus for design of an antibody-based HIV vaccine. The Env trimer is covered by ∼90N-linked glycans, which shield the underlying protein from immune surveillance. bNAbs to HIV develop during infection, with many showing dependence on glycans for binding to Env. The ability to routinely assess the glycan type at each glycosylation site may facilitate design of improved vaccine candidates. Here we present a general mass spectrometry-based proteomics strategy that uses specific endoglycosidases to introduce mass signatures that distinguish peptide glycosites that are unoccupied or occupied by high-mannose/hybrid or complex-type glycans. The method yields >95% sequence coverage for Env, provides semi-quantitative analysis of the glycosylation status at each glycosite. We find that most glycosites in recombinant Env trimers are fully occupied by glycans, varying in the proportion of high-mannose/hybrid and complex-type glycans.
Project description:The elicitation of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) against the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) trimer remains a major vaccine challenge. Most cross-conserved protein determinants are occluded by self-N-glycan shielding, limiting B cell recognition of the underlying polypeptide surface. The exceptions to the contiguous glycan shield include the conserved receptor CD4 binding site (CD4bs) and glycoprotein (gp)41 elements proximal to the furin cleavage site. Accordingly, we performed heterologous trimer-liposome prime:boosting in rabbits to drive B cells specific for cross-conserved sites. To preferentially expose the CD4bs to B cells, we eliminated proximal N-glycans while maintaining the native-like state of the cleavage-independent NFL trimers, followed by gradual N-glycan restoration coupled with heterologous boosting. This approach successfully elicited CD4bs-directed, cross-neutralizing Abs, including one targeting a unique glycan-protein epitope and a bNAb (87% breadth) directed to the gp120:gp41 interface, both resolved by high-resolution cryoelectron microscopy. This study provides proof-of-principle immunogenicity toward eliciting bNAbs by vaccination.
Project description:An important class of HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies, termed the VRC01 class, targets the conserved CD4-binding site (CD4bs) of the envelope glycoprotein (Env). An engineered Env outer domain (OD) eOD-GT8 60-mer nanoparticle has been developed as a priming immunogen for eliciting VRC01-class precursors and is planned for clinical trials. However, a substantial portion of eOD-GT8-elicited antibodies target non-CD4bs epitopes, potentially limiting its efficacy. We introduced N-linked glycans into non-CD4bs surfaces of eOD-GT8 to mask irrelevant epitopes and evaluated these mutants in a mouse model that expressed diverse immunoglobulin heavy chains containing human IGHV1-2?02, the germline VRC01 VH segment. Compared to the parental eOD-GT8, a mutant with five added glycans stimulated significantly higher proportions of CD4bs-specific serum responses and CD4bs-specific immunoglobulin G+ B cells including VRC01-class precursors. These results demonstrate that glycan masking can limit elicitation of off-target antibodies and focus immune responses to the CD4bs, a major target of HIV-1 vaccine design.
Project description:The HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) trimer contains the receptor binding sites and membrane fusion machinery that introduce the viral genome into the host cell. As the only target for broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs), Env is a focus for rational vaccine design. We present a cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction and structural model of a cleaved, soluble Env trimer (termed BG505 SOSIP.664 gp140) in complex with a CD4 binding site (CD4bs) bnAb, PGV04, at 5.8 angstrom resolution. The structure reveals the spatial arrangement of Env components, including the V1/V2, V3, HR1, and HR2 domains, as well as shielding glycans. The structure also provides insights into trimer assembly, gp120-gp41 interactions, and the CD4bs epitope cluster for bnAbs, which covers a more extensive area and defines a more complex site of vulnerability than previously described.