Persistent immunogenicity of integrase defective lentiviral vectors delivering membrane-tethered native-like HIV-1 envelope trimers

Alessandra Gallinaro, Maria Franca Pirillo, Yoann Aldon, Serena Cecchetti, Zuleika Michelini, Antonella Tinari, Martina Borghi, Andrea Canitano, Paul F. McKay, Roberta Bona, Maria Fenicia Vescio, Felicia Grasso, Maria Blasi, Silvia Baroncelli, Gabriella Scarlatti, Celia LaBranche, David Montefiori, Mary E. Klotman, Rogier W. Sanders, Robin J. ShattockDonatella Negri, Andrea Cara

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Integrase Defective Lentiviral Vectors (IDLVs) represent an attractive vaccine platform for delivering HIV-1 antigens, given their ability to induce specific and persistent immune responses in both mice and non-human primates (NHPs). Recent advances in HIV-1 immunogen design demonstrated that native-like HIV-1 Envelope (Env) trimers that mimic the structure of virion-associated Env induce neutralization breadth in rabbits and macaques. Here, we describe the development of an IDLV-based HIV-1 vaccine expressing either soluble ConSOSL.UFO.664 or membrane-tethered ConSOSL.UFO.750 native-like Env immunogens with enhanced bNAb epitopes exposure. We show that IDLV can be pseudotyped with properly folded membrane-tethered native-like UFO.750 trimers. After a single IDLV injection in BALB/c mice, IDLV-UFO.750 induced a faster humoral kinetic as well as higher levels of anti-Env IgG compared to IDLV-UFO.664. IDLV-UFO.750 vaccinated cynomolgus macaques developed unusually long-lasting anti-Env IgG antibodies, as underlined by their remarkable half-life both after priming and boost with IDLV. After boosting with recombinant ConM SOSIP.v7 protein, two animals developed neutralization activity against the autologous tier 1B ConS virus mediated by V1/V2 and V3 glycan sites responses. By combining the possibility to display stabilized trimeric Env on the vector particles with the ability to induce sustained humoral responses, IDLVs represent an appropriate strategy for delivering rationally designed antigens to progress towards an effective HIV-1 vaccine.
Original languageEnglish
Article number44
JournalNPJ vaccines
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

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