The C3/465 glycan hole cluster in BG505 HIV-1 envelope is the major neutralizing target involved in preventing mucosal SHIV infection

PLoS Pathog. 2021 Feb 8;17(2):e1009257. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1009257. eCollection 2021 Feb.


Stabilized HIV-1 envelope (Env) trimers elicit tier 2 autologous neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses in immunized animals. We previously demonstrated that BG505 SOSIP.664.T332N gp140 (BG505 SOSIP) immunization of rhesus macaques (RM) provided robust protection against autologous intra-vaginal simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) challenge that was predicted by high serum nAb titers. Here, we show that nAb in these protected RM targeted a glycan hole proximal to residue 465 in gp120 in all cases. nAb also targeted another glycan hole at residues 241/289 and an epitope in V1 at varying frequencies. Non-neutralizing antibodies directed at N611-shielded epitopes in gp41 were also present but were more prevalent in RM with low nAb titers. Longitudinal analysis demonstrated that nAb broadened in some RM during sequential immunization but remained focused in others, the latter being associated with increases in nAb titer. Thirty-eight monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) isolated from a protected RM with an exceptionally high serum neutralization titer bound to the trimer in ELISA, and four of the mAbs potently neutralized the BG505 Env pseudovirus (PV) and SHIV. The four neutralizing mAbs were clonally related and targeted the 465 glycan hole to varying degrees, mimicking the serum. The data demonstrate that the C3/465 glycan hole cluster was the dominant neutralization target in high titer protected RM, despite other co-circulating neutralizing and non-neutralizing specificities. The isolation of a neutralizing mAb family argues that clonotype expansion occurred during BG505 SOSIP immunization, leading to high titer, protective nAb and setting a desirable benchmark for HIV vaccines.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology*
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Female
  • HIV Antibodies / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Polysaccharides / immunology*
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / virology
  • Simian Immunodeficiency Virus / immunology*
  • Vaccination
  • env Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Epitopes
  • HIV Antibodies
  • Polysaccharides
  • env Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus