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Virologica Sinica, 22 (6) : 462-470, 2007
Review
“Unconventional” Neutralizing Activity of Antibodies Against HIV
Laboratory of Anti-viral Immunity and Genetic Therapy, Institute Pasteur of Shanghai, Chinese Academy of Sciences
 Correspondence:
(191.58KB)  
Abstract
Neutralizing antibodies are recognized to be one of the essential elements of the adaptive immune response that must be induced by an effective vaccine against HIV. However, only a limited number of antibodies have been identified to neutralize a broad range of primary isolates of HIV-1 and attempts to induce such antibodies by immunization were unsuccessful. The difficulties to generate such antibodies are mainly due to intrinsic properties of HIV-1 envelope spikes, such as high sequence diversity, heavy glycosylation, and inducible and transient nature of certain epitopes. In vitro neutralizing antibodies are identified using “conventional” neutralization assay which uses phytohe- magglutinin (PHA)-stimulated human PBMCs as target cells. Thus, in essence the assay evaluates HIV-1 replication in CD4+ T cells. Recently, several laboratories including us demonstrated that some monoclonal antibodies and HIV-1-specific polyclonal IgG purified from patient sera, although they do not have neutralizing activity when tested by the “conventional” neutralization assay, do exhibit potent and broad neutralizing activity in “unconventional” ways. The neutralizing activity of these antibodies and IgG fractions is acquired through post-translational modifications, through opsonization of virus particles into macrophages and immature dendritic cells (iDCs), or through expression of antibodies on the surface of HIV-1-susceptible cells. This review will focus on recent findings of this area and point out their potential applications in the development of preventive strategies against HIV.
  Published online: 25 Dec 2007
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