Animals immunized wih the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 gp160 glycoprotein or certain recombinant envelope components develop potent virus-neutralizing activity. This activity is principally due to antibodies directed toward a hypervariable region of gp120 between cysteine residues 302 and 337 and is virus isolate specific. These antisera, as well as two neutralizing monoclonal antibodies directed against the same hypervariable sequence, do not appreciably block gp120 from binding CD4. In contrast, serum samples from infected humans possess high titers of antibodies that block gp120-CD4 binding; these titers approximately correlate with the serum neutralization titers. Our results suggest that there are at least two targets on the envelope glycoprotein for virus neutralization. The target responsible for the broader neutralizing activity of human serum may be a conserved region of gp120 involved in CD4 binding. The antibodies directed at the hypervariable region of the envelope inhibit a different step in virus infection which is subsequent to receptor binding. The extent to which these two different epitopes of gp120 may be involved in protection against human immunodeficiency virus infection is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science