Synergistic neutralization of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 by a chimpanzee monoclonal antibody against the V2 domain of gp120 in combination with monoclonal antibodies against the V3 loop and the CD4-binding site

Sujata Vijh-Warrier, Abraham Pinter, William J. Honnen, Shermaine A. Tilley

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Synergistic neutralization of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) was observed in studies using a chimpanzee anti-V2 monoclonal antibody (MAb), C108G, in combination with anti-V3 loop and anti-CD4 binding-site (bs) MAbs of different epitope specificities. C108G paired with either of two anti-V3 loop MAbs or either of two anti-CD4 bs MAbs synergistically neutralized both the uncloned IIIB and clonal HXB2 strains of virus in H9 target cells. Synergism was quantitated by calculation of combination indices. Significant synergy with a given MAb pair was seen over a range of MAb ratios, with the optimal effect centering around the ratio at which the MAbs were equipotent for a given HIV-1 strain (on the basis of the 50% neutralization titer). In preliminary experiments with monocytotropic strains of HIV-1 in peripheral blood mononuclear cell targets, significant synergism was also observed between anti-V2-anti-V3 and anti-V2-anti-CD4 bs MAb pairs. Synergism by all MAb pairs tested was greater against heterogeneous isolates of HIV-1 (IIIB and Ba-L) than against clonal isolates (HXB2 and NLHXADA), suggesting that strain broadening may be a component of the synergism observed against the heterogeneous isolates. In addition, conformational changes in gp120 upon binding of one or both MAbs may result in increased affinity or exposure of the epitope of one or both MAbs. Finally, a three-MAb combination of C108G, an anti-V3 MAb, and an anti-CD4 bs MAb was more effective in neutralizing the HXB2 strain of HIV-1 than any of the three two-MAb combinations within this trio, as determined by the dose reduction indices of each MAb required to achieve a given level of neutralization. This is the first report of synergistic neutralization of HIV-1 by a three-MAb combination composed of MAbs directed against the three major neutralization epitope clusters in gp120. Implications for vaccine design and for immunoprophylaxis and immunotherapy with a combination of MAbs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4466-4473
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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