The most effective treatment for HIV-1, antiretroviral therapy, suppresses viral replication and averts the disease from progression. Nonetheless, there is a need for alternative treatments as it requires daily administration with the possibility of side effects and occurrence of drug resistance. Broadly neutralizing antibodies or nanobodies targeting the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein are explored as alternative treatment, since they mediate viral suppression and contribute to the elimination of virus-infected cells. Besides neutralization potency and breadth, Fc-mediated effector functions of bNAbs also contribute to the in vivo efficacy. In this study multivalent J3, 2E7 and 1F10 anti-HIV-1 broadly neutralizing nanobodies were generated to improve neutralization potency and IgG1 Fc fusion was utilized to gain Fc-mediated effector functions. Bivalent and trivalent nanobodies, coupled using long glycine-serine linkers, showed increased binding to the HIV-1 Env and enhanced neutralization potency compared to the monovalent variant. Fusion of an IgG1 Fc domain to J3 improved neutralization potency compared to the J3-bihead and restored Fc-mediated effector functions such as antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis and trogocytosis, and natural killer cell activation. Due to their neutralization breadth and potency and their ability to induce effector functions these nanobody-IgG1 constructs may prove to be valuable towards alternative HIV-1 therapies.
- Fc fusion
- Fc-mediated effector functions