An Antigenic Atlas of HIV-1 Escape from Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies Distinguishes Functional and Structural Epitopes.
ABSTRACT: Anti-HIV broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) have revealed vaccine targets on the virus's envelope (Env) protein and are themselves promising immunotherapies. The efficacy of bnAb-based therapies and vaccines depends in part on how readily the virus can escape neutralization. Although structural studies can define contacts between bnAbs and Env, only functional studies can define mutations that confer escape. Here, we mapped how all possible single amino acid mutations in Env affect neutralization of HIV by nine bnAbs targeting five epitopes. For most bnAbs, mutations at only a small fraction of structurally defined contact sites mediated escape, and most escape occurred at sites near, but not in direct contact with, the antibody. The Env mutations selected by two pooled bnAbs were similar to those expected from the combination of the bnAbs's independent action. Overall, our mutation-level antigenic atlas provides a comprehensive dataset for understanding viral immune escape and refining therapies and vaccines.
Project description:Non-human primates (NHP) are the only animal model suitable to evaluate the protection efficacy of HIV-1 vaccines. It is important to understand how and when neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) with specificities similar to those of human broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) develop in NHPs. To address these questions, we determined plasma neutralization specificities in two macaques which developed neutralization breadth after long-term simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) infection and identified neutralization escape mutations by analyzing the env sequences from longitudinal plasma samples. Neutralization activities targeting V2, CD4bs, V3 and gp120-gp41 interface only became detectable in week 350 plasma from macaques G1015R and G1020R using 25710 env mutants. When mapped with CAP45 env mutants, only V2 specificity was detected at week 217 and persisted until week 350 in G1015R. Neutralization escape mutations were found in CD4bs and V2 regions. However, all of them were different from those resistant mutations identified for human bnAbs. These results show that nAbs with specificities similar to human bnAbs are only detectable after long-term SHIV infection and that neutralization escape mutations in macaques are different from those found in HIV-1-infected individuals. These findings can have important implications in the best utilization of the NHP model to evaluate HIV-1 vaccines.
Project description:A major challenge in HIV vaccine development is the identification of immunogens able to elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs). While remarkable progress has been made in the isolation and characterization of bNAbs, the epitopes they recognize appear to be poorly immunogenic. Thus, none of the candidate vaccines developed to date has induced satisfactory levels of neutralizing antibodies to the HIV envelope protein (Env). One approach to the problem of poor immunogenicity is to build vaccines based on envelope (env) genes retrieved from rare individuals termed elite neutralizers (ENs) who at one time possessed specific sequences that stimulated the formation of bNAbs. Env proteins selected from these individuals could possess uncommon, yet to be defined, structural features that enhance the immunogenicity of epitopes recognized by bNAbs. Here we describe the recovery of envs from an EN that developed unusually broad and potent bNAbs. As longitudinal specimens were not available, we combined plasma and provirus sequences acquired from a single time-point to infer a phylogenetic tree. Combining ancestral reconstruction data with virus neutralization data allowed us to sift through the myriad of virus quasi-species that evolved in this individual to identify envelope sequences from the nodes that appeared to define the transition from neutralization sensitive envs to the neutralization resistant envs that occur in EN plasma. Synthetic genes from these nodes were functional in infectivity assays and sensitive to neutralization by bNAbs, and may provide a novel source of immunogens for HIV vaccine development.
Project description:Eliciting HIV-1-specific broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) remains a challenge for vaccine development, and the potential of passively delivered bNAbs for prophylaxis and therapeutics is being explored. We used neutralization data from four large virus panels to comprehensively map viral signatures associated with bNAb sensitivity, including amino acids, hypervariable region characteristics, and clade effects across four different classes of bNAbs. The bNAb signatures defined for the variable loop 2 (V2) epitope region of HIV-1 Env were then employed to inform immunogen design in a proof-of-concept exploration of signature-based epitope targeted (SET) vaccines. V2 bNAb signature-guided mutations were introduced into Env 459C to create a trivalent vaccine, and immunization of guinea pigs with V2-SET vaccines resulted in increased breadth of NAb responses compared with Env 459C alone. These data demonstrate that bNAb signatures can be utilized to engineer HIV-1 Env vaccine immunogens capable of eliciting antibody responses with greater neutralization breadth.
Project description:HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) are being explored as passively administered therapeutic and preventative agents. However, the extensively diversified HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins (Env) rapidly acquire mutations to evade individual bNAbs in monotherapy regimens. The use of a "single" agent to simultaneously target distinct Env epitopes is desirable to overcome viral diversity. Here, we report the use of tandem single-chain variable fragment (ScFv) domains of two bNAbs, specific for the CD4-binding site and V3 glycan patch, to form anti-HIV-1 bispecific ScFvs (Bi-ScFvs). The optimal Bi-ScFv crosslinks adjacent protomers within one HIV-1 Env spike and has greater neutralization breadth than its parental bNAbs. Furthermore, the combination of this Bi-ScFv with a third bNAb recognizing the Env membrane proximal external region (MPER) results in a trispecific bNAb, which has nearly pan-isolate neutralization breadth and high potency. Thus, multispecific antibodies combining functional moieties of bNAbs could achieve outstanding neutralization capacity with augmented avidity.
Project description:Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) against the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) suppress viremia in animal models of HIV-1 and humans. To achieve potent activity without the emergence of viral escape mutants, co-administration of different bNAbs is necessary to target distinct epitopes essential for viral fitness. Here, we report the development of bispecific anti-Env neutralizing antibodies (biNAbs) with potent activity. Synergistic activity of biNAbs was achieved by combining an engineered hinge domain of IgG3 to increase Fab domain flexibility necessary for hetero-bivalent binding to the Env trimer while retaining the functional properties of the IgG1-Fc. Compared to unmodified biNAbs, hinge domain variants exhibited substantially improved neutralization activity, with particular combinations showing evidence of synergistic neutralization potency in vitro and enhanced in vivo therapeutic activity in HIV-1-infected humanized mice. These findings suggest innovative strategies for generating biNAbs with enhanced neutralization breadth and potency, representing ideal candidate molecules for the control of HIV-1 infection.
Project description:Developing HIV-1 vaccines that trigger broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) is a priority as bnAbs are considered key to elicitation of a protective immune response. To investigate whether the breadth of a neutralizing antibody (nAb) depended on the conservation of its epitope among circulating viruses, we examined Antibody:Envelope (Ab:Env) interactions and worldwide Env diversity. We found that sites corresponding to bnAb epitopes were as variable as other accessible, non-hypervariable Env sites (p = 0.50, Mann-Whitney U-test) with no significant relationship between epitope conservation and neutralization breadth (Spearman's ? = -0.44, adjusted p = 0.079). However, when accounting for key sites in the Ab:Env interaction, we showed that the broadest bnAbs targeted more conserved epitopes (Spearman's ? = -0.70, adjusted p = 5.0e-5). Neutralization breadth did not stem from the overall conservation of Ab epitopes but depended instead on the conservation of key sites of the Ab:Env interaction, revealing a mechanistic basis for neutralization breadth that could be exploited for vaccine design.
Project description:Precisely defining how viral mutations affect HIV's sensitivity to antibodies is vital to develop and evaluate vaccines and antibody immunotherapeutics. Despite great effort, a full map of escape mutants has not been delineated for an anti-HIV antibody. We describe a massively parallel experimental approach to quantify how all single amino acid mutations to HIV Envelope (Env) affect neutralizing antibody sensitivity in the context of replication-competent virus. We apply this approach to PGT151, a broadly neutralizing antibody recognizing a combination of Env residues and glycans. We confirm sites previously defined by structural and functional studies and reveal additional sites of escape, such as positively charged mutations in the antibody-Env interface. Evaluating the effect of each amino acid at each site lends insight into biochemical mechanisms of escape throughout the epitope, highlighting roles for charge-charge repulsions. Thus, comprehensively mapping HIV antibody escape gives a quantitative, mutation-level view of Env evasion of neutralization.
Project description:The events required for the induction of broad neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) following HIV-1 envelope (Env) vaccination are unknown, and their induction in animal models as proof of concept would be critical. Here, we describe the induction of plasma antibodies capable of neutralizing heterologous primary (tier 2) HIV-1 strains in one macaque and two rabbits. Env immunogens were designed to induce CD4 binding site (CD4bs) bnAbs, but surprisingly, the macaque developed V1V2-glycan bnAbs. Env immunization of CD4bs bnAb heavy chain rearrangement (VHDJH) knockin mice similarly induced V1V2-glycan neutralizing antibodies (nAbs), wherein the human CD4bs VH chains were replaced with mouse rearrangements bearing diversity region (D)-D fusions, creating antibodies with long, tyrosine-rich HCDR3s. Our results show that Env vaccination can elicit broad neutralization of tier 2 HIV-1, demonstrate that V1V2-glycan bnAbs are more readily induced than CD4bs bnAbs, and define VH replacement and diversity region fusion as potential mechanisms for generating V1V2-glycan bnAb site antibodies.
Project description:Eliciting broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) targeting envelope (Env) is a major goal of HIV vaccine development, but cross-clade breadth from immunization has only sporadically been observed. Recently, Xu et al (2018) elicited cross-reactive neutralizing antibody responses in a variety of animal models using immunogens based on the epitope of bnAb VRC34.01. The VRC34.01 antibody, which was elicited by natural human infection, targets the N terminus of the Env fusion peptide, a critical component of the virus entry machinery. Here we precisely characterize the functional epitopes of VRC34.01 and two vaccine-elicited murine antibodies by mapping all single amino-acid mutations to the BG505 Env that affect viral neutralization. While escape from VRC34.01 occurred via mutations in both fusion peptide and distal interacting sites of the Env trimer, escape from the vaccine-elicited antibodies was mediated predominantly by mutations in the fusion peptide. Cryo-electron microscopy of four vaccine-elicited antibodies in complex with Env trimer revealed focused recognition of the fusion peptide and provided a structural basis for development of neutralization breadth. Together, these functional and structural data suggest that the breadth of vaccine-elicited antibodies targeting the fusion peptide can be enhanced by specific interactions with additional portions of Env. Thus, our complete maps of viral escape both delineate pathways of resistance to these fusion peptide-directed antibodies and provide a strategy to improve the breadth or potency of future vaccine-induced antibodies against Env's fusion peptide.
Project description:The identification of a new generation of potent broadly neutralizing HIV-1 antibodies (bnAbs) has generated substantial interest in their potential use for the prevention and/or treatment of HIV-1 infection. While combinations of bnAbs targeting distinct epitopes on the viral envelope (Env) will likely be required to overcome the extraordinary diversity of HIV-1, a key outstanding question is which bnAbs, and how many, will be needed to achieve optimal clinical benefit. We assessed the neutralizing activity of 15 bnAbs targeting four distinct epitopes of Env, including the CD4-binding site (CD4bs), the V1/V2-glycan region, the V3-glycan region, and the gp41 membrane proximal external region (MPER), against a panel of 200 acute/early clade C HIV-1 Env pseudoviruses. A mathematical model was developed that predicted neutralization by a subset of experimentally evaluated bnAb combinations with high accuracy. Using this model, we performed a comprehensive and systematic comparison of the predicted neutralizing activity of over 1,600 possible double, triple, and quadruple bnAb combinations. The most promising bnAb combinations were identified based not only on breadth and potency of neutralization, but also other relevant measures, such as the extent of complete neutralization and instantaneous inhibitory potential (IIP). By this set of criteria, triple and quadruple combinations of bnAbs were identified that were significantly more effective than the best double combinations, and further improved the probability of having multiple bnAbs simultaneously active against a given virus, a requirement that may be critical for countering escape in vivo. These results provide a rationale for advancing bnAb combinations with the best in vitro predictors of success into clinical trials for both the prevention and treatment of HIV-1 infection.