Research ArticleVIROLOGY

A VH1-69 antibody lineage from an infected Chinese donor potently neutralizes HIV-1 by targeting the V3 glycan supersite

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Science Advances  16 Sep 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 38, eabb1328
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb1328


An oligomannose patch around the V3 base of HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) is recognized by multiple classes of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs). Here, we investigated the bNAb response to the V3 glycan supersite in an HIV-1–infected Chinese donor by Env-specific single B cell sorting, structural and functional studies, and longitudinal analysis of antibody and virus repertoires. Monoclonal antibodies 438-B11 and 438-D5 were isolated that potently neutralize HIV-1 with moderate breadth, are encoded by the VH1-69 germline gene, and have a disulfide-linked long HCDR3 loop. Crystal structures of Env-bound and unbound antibodies revealed heavy chain–mediated recognition of the glycan supersite with a unique angle of approach and a critical role of the intra-HCDR3 disulfide. The mechanism of viral escape was examined via single-genome amplification/sequencing and glycan mutations around the N332 supersite. Our findings further emphasize the V3 glycan supersite as a prominent target for Env-based vaccine design.

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