Gold nanoparticles coated with oligomannosides of HIV-1 glycoprotein gp120 mimic the carbohydrate epitope of antibody 2G12

Marco Marradi, Paolo Di Gianvincenzo, Pedro M. Enríquez-Navas, Olga M. Martínez-Ávila, Fabrizio Chiodo, Eloísa Yuste, Jesús Angulo, Soledad Penadés

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After three decades of research, an effective vaccine against the pandemic AIDS caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is not still available, and a deeper understanding of HIV immunology, as well as new chemical tools that may contribute to improve the currently available arsenal against the virus, is highly wanted. Among the few broadly neutralizing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) monoclonal antibodies, 2G12 is the only carbohydrate-directed one. 2G12 recognizes a cluster of high-mannose glycans on the viral envelope glycoprotein gp120. This type of glycan has thus been envisaged as a target to develop an HIV vaccine that is capable of eliciting 2G12-like antibodies. Herein we show that gold nanoparticles coated with self-assembled monolayers of synthetic oligomannosides [manno-gold glyconanoparticles (GNPs)], which are present in gp120, are able to bind 2G12 with high affinity and to interfere with 2G12/gp120 binding, as determined by surface plasmon resonance and saturation transfer difference NMR spectroscopy. Cellular neutralization assays demonstrated that GNPs coated with a linear tetramannoside could block the 2G12-mediated neutralization of a replication-competent virus under conditions that resemble the ones in which normal serum prevents infection of the target cell. Dispersibility in water and physiological media, absence of cytotoxicity, and the possibility of inserting more than one component into the same nanoparticle make manno-GNPs versatile, polyvalent, and multifunctional systems that may aid efforts to develop new multifaceted strategies against HIV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)798-810
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • 2G12/gp120 inhibition
  • NMR spectroscopy
  • high-mannose-type oligosaccharides
  • multivalent gold glyconanoparticles
  • surface plasmon resonance

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