Induction of antibodies in rhesus macaques that recognize a fusion-intermediate conformation of HIV-1 gp41

PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27824. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027824. Epub 2011 Nov 30.


A component to the problem of inducing broad neutralizing HIV-1 gp41 membrane proximal external region (MPER) antibodies is the need to focus the antibody response to the transiently exposed MPER pre-hairpin intermediate neutralization epitope. Here we describe a HIV-1 envelope (Env) gp140 oligomer prime followed by MPER peptide-liposomes boost strategy for eliciting serum antibody responses in rhesus macaques that bind to a gp41 fusion intermediate protein. This Env-liposome immunization strategy induced antibodies to the 2F5 neutralizing epitope ⁶⁶⁴DKW residues, and these antibodies preferentially bound to a gp41 fusion intermediate construct as well as to MPER scaffolds stabilized in the 2F5-bound conformation. However, no serum lipid binding activity was observed nor was serum neutralizing activity for HIV-1 pseudoviruses present. Nonetheless, the Env-liposome prime-boost immunization strategy induced antibodies that recognized a gp41 fusion intermediate protein and was successful in focusing the antibody response to the desired epitope.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / immunology
  • Antibody Specificity / immunology
  • Cross-Priming / immunology
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Guinea Pigs
  • HIV Antibodies / blood
  • HIV Antibodies / immunology*
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp41 / chemistry*
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp41 / immunology*
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Immunization
  • Liposomes / chemistry
  • Macaca mulatta / immunology*
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Protein Structure, Quaternary
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism


  • Epitopes
  • HIV Antibodies
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp41
  • Liposomes
  • Peptides
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins