Dozens of broadly neutralizing HIV-1 antibodies have been isolated in the last few years from the sera of HIV-1-infected individuals. Only a limited number of regions on the HIV-1 spike, however, are recognized by these antibodies. One of these regions (N332) is characterized by an N-linked glycan at residue 332 on HIV-1 gp120 and is recognized by antibody 2G12 and by the recently reported antibodies PGT121-137, the latter isolated from three donors. To investigate the diversity in mode of antibody recognition at the N332 site, we used functional complementation between antibody heavy and light chains as a means of assessing similarity in mode of recognition. We examined a matrix of 12 PGT-heavy chains with each of 12 PGT-light chains. Expression in 96-well format for the 144 antibodies (132 chimeric and 12 wild-type) was generally consistent (58 ± 10 µg/ml). In contrast, recognition of HIV-1 gp120 was bimodal: when the source of heavy and light chains was from the same donor, recognition was good; when sources of heavy and light chains were from different donors, recognition was poor. Moreover, neutralization of HIV-1 strains SF162.LS and TRO.11 generally followed patterns of gp120 recognition. These results are consistent with published sequence, mutational, and structural findings, all of which indicate that N332-directed neutralizing antibodies from different donors utilize different modes of recognition, and provide support for a correlation between functional complementation of antibody heavy and light chains and similarity in antibody mode of recognition. Overall, our results add to the growing body of evidence that the human immune system is capable of recognizing the N332-region of HIV-1 gp120 in diverse ways.
Pancera, M., Yang, Y., Louder, M. K., Gorman, J., Lu, G., McLellan, J. S., … Kwong, P. D. (2013). N332-Directed Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies Use Diverse Modes of HIV-1 Recognition: Inferences from Heavy-Light Chain Complementation of Function. PLoS ONE, 8(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0055701