Native-like Env trimers as a platform for HIV-1 vaccine design

Immunol Rev. 2017 Jan;275(1):161-182. doi: 10.1111/imr.12481.


We describe the development and potential use of various designs of recombinant HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein trimers that mimic the structure of the virion-associated spike, which is the target for neutralizing antibodies. The goal of trimer development programs is to induce broadly neutralizing antibodies with the potential to intervene against multiple circulating HIV-1 strains. Among the topics we address are the designs of various constructs; how native-like trimers can be produced and purified; the properties of such trimers in vitro and their immunogenicity in various animals; and the immunization strategies that may lead to the eventual elicitation of broadly neutralizing antibodies. In summary, native-like trimers are a now a platform for structure- and immunology-based design improvements that could eventually yield immunogens of practical value for solving the long-standing HIV-1 vaccine problem.

Keywords: Env trimers; HIV-1 vaccines; neutralizing antibodies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Vaccines / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / metabolism
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • HIV Antibodies / metabolism
  • HIV Antigens / chemistry*
  • HIV Antigens / immunology
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Protein Multimerization
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / chemistry*
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / immunology


  • AIDS Vaccines
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Epitopes
  • HIV Antibodies
  • HIV Antigens
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Viral Envelope Proteins