Immunogenicity in rabbits of HIV-1 SOSIP trimers from clades A, B, and C, given individually, sequentially, or in combination
Amino Acid Substitution
HIV Envelope Protein gp160
© 2018 American Society for Microbiology. Recombinant soluble HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) SOSIP trimers are a design platform for inducing broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) by vaccination. To date, these and alternative designs of native-like trimers, given singly or in pairs, have not induced bNAbs in test animals such as rabbits or macaques. Here, we have evaluated whether trivalent and tetravalent combinations of SOSIP trimers from clades A, B, and C, delivered simultaneously or sequentially, induce better neutralizing antibody responses in rabbits than when given alone. None of the tested formulations led to the induction of bNAbs. We found that BG505 clade A trimers dominated the autologous NAb responses induced by combinations, which probably relates to the presence of immunodominant glycan holes on the BG505 trimer. Furthermore, autologous NAb responses to all individual trimers were reduced when they were delivered in combinations compared with when delivered alone, suggesting that immunogen interference had occurred. Finally, in a sequential regimen, a heterologous clade C trimer cross-boosted NAb responses that were primed by earlier immunizations with clade A and B trimers. Taken together, these findings should allow us to improve the design of immunization regimens based on native-like HIV-1 Env trimers.
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