Breadth of HIV-1 Env-specific antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity: Relevance to global HIV vaccine design

Vijaya Madhavi, Leia H. Wren, Rob J. Center, Christopher Gonelli, Wendy R. Winnall, Matt S. Parsons, Marit Kramski, Stephen J. Kent, Ivan Stratov

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the breadth of HIV-1 Env-specific antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) in HIV controllers and HIV progressors with a view to design globally relevant HIV vaccines. Design: The breadth of ADCC towards four major HIV-1 Env subtypes was measured in vitro for 11 HIV controllers and 11 HIV progressors. Methods: Plasma from 11 HIV controllers (including long-term slow progressors, viremic controllers, elite controller and posttreatment controller) and 11 HIV progressors, mostly infected with HIV-1 subtype B, was analysed for ADCC responses. ADCC assays were performed against 10 HIV-1 gp120 and 8 gp140 proteins from four major HIV-1 subtypes (A, B, C and E) and 3 glycosylation-mutant gp140 proteins. Results: ADCC-mediated natural killer cell activation was significantly broader (P=0.02) and of higher magnitude (P<0.001) in HIV controllers than in HIV progressors. HIV controllers also showed significantly higher magnitude of ADCCmediated killing of Env-coated target cells than HIV progressors to both HIV-1 subtype B and the heterologous subtype E gp140 (P=0.001). We found good ADCC reactivity to subtype B and E Envs, less cross-reactivity to subtype A and minimal cross-reactivity to subtype C Envs. Glycosylation-dependent ADCC epitopes comprise a significant proportion of the total Env-specific ADCC response, as evident from the reduction in ADCC to nonglycosylated form of HIV-1 gp140 (P=0.004). Conclusion: HIV controllers have robust ADCC responses that recognize a broad range of HIV-1 Env. Glycosylation of Env was found to be important for recognition of ADCC epitopes. Identifying conserved ADCC epitopes will assist in designing globally relevant ADCC-based HIV vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1859-1870
Number of pages12
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2014


  • Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity
  • Env
  • Glycosylation
  • HIV controllers
  • HIV-1
  • Natural killer cells

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