Characterization of a stable HIV 1 B C recombinant soluble and trimeric envelope glycoprotein Env highly resistant to CD4 induced conformational changes
The HIV-1 envelope (Env) is a glycoprotein consisting of a trimer of heterodimers containing gp120 and gp41 subunits that mediates virus entry and is a major target of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) developed during infection in some individuals. The engagement of the HIV-1 gp120 glycoprotein to the host CD4 protein triggers conformational changes in gp120 that allow its binding to co-receptors and is necessary for virus entry to establish infection. Native-like HIV-1 Env immunogens representing distinct clades have been proposed to improve immunogenicity. In the present study, we examined the basis of resistance of an HIV-1 B/C recombinant Env (LT5.J4b12C) to non-neutralizing antibodies targeting CD4-induced Env epitopes in the presence of soluble CD4 (sCD4). Using native polyacrylamide gel shift assay and negative-stain EM, we found that the prefusion conformational state of LT5.J4b12C trimeric Env was largely unaffected in the presence of excess sCD4 with most Env trimers appearing to be in a ligand-free state. This resistance to CD4-induced conformational changes was associated with a lower affinity for CD4. Moreover, the LT5.J4b12C trimeric Env preferentially bound to the neutralizing antibodies compared with non-neutralizing antibodies. Taken together, we report on an HIV-1 B/C recombinant, native-like trimeric Env protein that is highly resistant to CD4-induced conformational changes but displays epitopes recognized by a diverse array of bnAbs. Such features make this B/C recombinant trimeric Env a useful addition to the pool of other recently identified native-like HIV-1 Env trimers suitable for use as antigenic bait for bnAb isolation, structural studies, and use as potential immunogens.
J. Biol. Chem.
Kumar R, Ozorowski G, Kumar V, Holden LG, Shrivastava T, Patil S, Deshpande S, Ward AB, Bhattacharya J
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