Antibodies elicited by yeast glycoproteins recognize HIV-1 virions and potently neutralize virions with high mannose N-glycans

Vaccine. 2015 Sep 22;33(39):5140-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.08.012. Epub 2015 Aug 13.


The glycan shield on the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) envelope (Env) glycoprotein has drawn attention as a target for HIV-1 vaccine design given that an increasing number of potent and broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) recognize epitopes entirely or partially comprised of high mannose type N-linked glycans. In an attempt to generate immunogens that target the glycan shield of HIV-1, we previously engineered a triple mutant (TM) strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that results in exclusive presentation of high mannose type N-glycans, and identified five TM yeast glycoproteins that support strong binding of 2G12, a bNAb that targets a cluster of high mannose glycans on the gp120 subunit of Env. Here, we further analyzed the antigenicity and immunogenicity of these proteins in inducing anti-HIV responses. Our study demonstrated that the 2G12-reactive TM yeast glycoproteins efficiently bound to recently identified bNAbs including PGT125-130 and PGT135 that recognize high mannose glycan-dependent epitopes. Immunization of rabbits with a single TM yeast glycoprotein (Gp38 or Pst1), when conjugated to a promiscuous T-cell epitope peptide and coadministered with a Toll-like receptor 2 agonist, induced glycan-specific HIV-1 Env cross-reactive antibodies. The immune sera bound to both synthetic mannose oligosaccharides and gp120 proteins from a broad range of HIV-1 strains. The purified antibodies recognized and captured virions that contain both complex- and high mannose-type of N-glycans, and potently neutralized virions from different HIV-1 clades but only when the virions were enforced to retain high mannose N-glycans. This study provides insights into the elicitation of anti-carbohydrate, HIV-1 Env-cross reactive antibodies with a heterologous glycoprotein and may have applications in the design and administration of immunogens that target the viral glycan shield for development of an effective HIV-1 vaccine.

Keywords: AIDS; Adjuvant; Carbohydrate; Glycoproteins; HIV-1; Neutralizing antibody; Vaccine.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Fungal / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Heterophile / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology*
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Polysaccharides / immunology*
  • Rabbits
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Fungal
  • Antibodies, Heterophile
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Polysaccharides