Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.386, No.2, 402-406, 2009
Enhanced HIV-1 neutralization by a CD4-VH3-IgG1 fusion protein
HIV-1 gp120 is an alleged B cell superantigen, binding certain VH3+ human antibodies. We reasoned that a CD4-VH3 fusion protein could possess higher affinity for gp120 and improved HIV-1 inhibitory capacity. To test this we produced several human IgG1 immunoligands harboring VH3. Unlike VH3-IgG1 or VH3-CD4-IgG1, CD4-VH3-IgG1 bound gp120 considerably stronger than CD4-IgG1. CD4-VH3-IgG1 exhibited approximate to 1.5-2.5-fold increase in neutralization of two T-cell laboratory-adapted strains when compared to CD4-IgG1. CD4-VH3-IgG1 improved neutralization of 7/10 clade B primary isolates or pseudoviruses, exceeding 20-fold for JR-FL and 13-fold for Ba-L. It enhanced neutralization of 4/8 clade C viruses, and had negligible effect on 1/4 clade A pseudoviruses. We attribute this improvement to possible pairing of VH3 with CD4 D1 and stabilization of an Ig Fv-like structure, rather than to superantigen interactions. These novel findings support the current notion that CD4 fusion proteins can act as better HIV-1 entry inhibitors with potential clinical implications. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.