Development of broadly neutralizing antibodies from autologous neutralizing antibody responses in HIV infection

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS
Cynthia A DerdeynLynn Morris


Detailed genetic and structural characterization has revealed that broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) against HIV-1 have unusually high levels of somatic hypermutation, long CDRH3 domains, and the ability to target one of four sites of vulnerability on the HIV-1 envelope (Env) glycoproteins. A current priority is to understand how bnAbs are generated during natural infection, and translate this information into immunogens that can elicit bnAb following vaccination. Strain-specific neutralizing antibodies can acquire broad neutralizing capacity when the transmitted/founder Env or a specific Env variant is recognized by an unmutated rearranged germline that has the capacity to develop bnAb-like features. This event could be relatively infrequent, as only certain germlines appear to possess inherent features needed for bnAb activity. Furthermore, the glycosylation pattern and diversity of circulating HIV-1 Envs, as well as the state of the B-cell compartment, may influence the activation and maturation of certain antibody lineages. Collectively, studies over the last year have suggested that the development of HIV-1 Env immunogens that bind and activate bnAb-like germlines is feasible. However, more information about the feat...Continue Reading


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