Protection against SIV in Rhesus Macaques Using Albumin and CD4-Based Vector-Mediated Gene Transfer

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2020 May 8;17:1088-1096. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2020.04.019. eCollection 2020 Jun 12.


Antibody-like molecules were evaluated with potent simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) neutralizing properties (immunoadhesins) that were delivered by a recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vector in the SIV-infected rhesus macaque model. When injected intramuscularly into the host, the vector directs in vivo production of the transgenes with antibody-like binding properties that lead to serum neutralizing activity against SIV. To extend the half-life of the immunoadhesins, rhesus cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4) and a single-chain antibody (4L6) were fused with albumin molecules, and these constructs were tested in our model of SIV infection. Antibody-based immunoadhesins provided high serum neutralizing titers against the original SIV strain. CD4-based immunoadhesins provided a wider spectrum of neutralization against different SIV strains in comparison to antibody-based therapeutics and had the potential to protect against high viral challenging doses. Although the albumin-antibody fusion immunoadhesin provided strong and prolonged protection of the immunized animals against SIV challenge, the albumin-CD4 fusion altered the specificity and decreased the overall protection effectiveness of the immunoadhesin in comparison to the antibody-based molecules. Albumin-based immunoadhesins increase in vivo longevity of the immune protection; however, they present challenges likely linked to the induction of anti-immunoadhesin antibodies.

Keywords: CD4 immunoadhesins; HIV; Immunodhesins; SIV; adeno-associated virus; albumin; broad cross-protection; immunoprophylaxis.