Fine-mapping the immunodominant antibody epitopes on consensus sequence-based HIV-1 envelope trimer vaccine candidates

E I M M Reiss, M M van Haaren, J van Schooten, M A F Claireaux, P Maisonnasse, A Antanasijevic, J D Allen, I Bontjer, J L Torres, W-H Lee, G Ozorowski, N Vázquez Bernat, M Kaduk, Y Aldon, J A Burger, H Chawla, A Aartse, M Tolazzi, H Gao, P MundspergerM Crispin, D C Montefiori, G B Karlsson Hedestam, G Scarlatti, A B Ward, R Le Grand, R Shattock, N Dereuddre-Bosquet, R W Sanders, M J van Gils

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The HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) trimer is the key target for vaccines aimed at inducing neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) against HIV-1. The clinical candidate immunogen ConM SOSIP.v7 is a stabilized native-like HIV-1 Env trimer based on an artificial consensus sequence of all HIV-1 isolates in group M. In preclinical studies ConM SOSIP.v7 trimers induced strong autologous NAb responses in non-human primates (NHPs). To fine-map these responses, we isolated monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from six cynomolgus macaques that were immunized three times with ConM SOSIP.v7 protein and boosted twice with the closely related ConSOSL.UFO.664 immunogen. A total of 40 ConM and/or ConS-specific mAbs were isolated, of which 18 were retrieved after the three ConM SOSIP.v7 immunizations and 22 after the two immunizations with ConSOSL.UFO.664. 22 mAbs (55%) neutralized the ConM and/or ConS virus. Cross-neutralization of ConS virus by approximately one-third of the mAbs was seen prior to ConSOSL.UFO.664 immunization, albeit with modest potency. Neutralizing antibodies predominantly targeted the V1 and V2 regions of the immunogens, with an apparent extension towards the V3 region. Thus, the V1V2V3 region is immunodominant in the potent NAb response elicited by two consensus sequence native-like HIV-1 Env immunogens. Immunization with these soluble consensus Env proteins also elicited non-neutralizing mAbs targeting the trimer base. These results inform the use and improvement of consensus-based trimer immunogens in combinatorial vaccine strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152
Pages (from-to)152
Journalnpj Vaccines
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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