Glycodendrimers prevent HIV transmission via DC-SIGN on dendritic cells

Juan J. Garcia-Vallejo, Nathalie Koning, Martino Ambrosini, Hakan Kalay, Ilona Vuist, Ramin Sarrami-Forooshani, Teunis B. H. Geijtenbeek, Yvette van Kooyk

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49 Citations (Scopus)


Dendritic cells (DCs) are antigen-presenting cells efficient in capturing pathogens, and processing their antigenic determinants for presentation to antigen-specific T cells to induce robust immune responses. Their location at peripheral tissues and the expression of pattern-recognition receptors, among them DC-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3-grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN), facilitates the capture of pathogens before spreading. However, some pathogens have developed strategies to escape the immune system. One of the most successful is HIV-1, which targets DC-SIGN for transport to the lymph node where the virus infects CD4(+) T cells. Contact of HIV-1 with DC-SIGN is thus the first event in the pathogenic cascade and, therefore, it is the primary target point for therapies aimed at HIV infection prevention. DC-SIGN recognizes specific glycans on HIV-1 and this interaction can be blocked by competitive inhibition through glycans. Although the affinity of glycans is relatively low, multivalency may increase avidity and the strength to compete with HIV-1 virions. We have designed multivalent dendrimeric compounds based on Lewis-type antigens that bind DC-SIGN with high selectivity and avidity and that effectively block gp120 binding to DC-SIGN and, consequently, HIV transmission to CD4(+) T cells. Binding to DC-SIGN and gp120 inhibition was higher on glycodendrimers with larger molecular diameter, indicating that the geometry of the compounds is an important factor determining their functionality. Our compounds elicited DC-SIGN internalization, a property of the receptor upon triggering, but did not affect the maturation status of DCs. Thus, Le(X) glycodendrimers could be incorporated into topic prophylactic approaches for the prevention of HIV-1 transmission
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-233
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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