Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

HIV antibodies that are worth the wait

Date:
March 28, 2013
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
A new study reveals surprising mutations in these antibodies that are crucial for strong protection against HIV-1. The findings could guide efforts to design better HIV-1 vaccines.

An effective vaccine against HIV-1 remains elusive, but one promising strategy focuses on designer antibodies that have much broader potency than most normal, exquisitely specific antibodies. These broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) can handle the high mutation rate of HIV particles that makes normal, very specific antibodies useless within a short space of time. A study published by Cell Press on March 28th in the journal Cell reveals surprising mutations in these antibodies that are crucial for strong protection against HIV-1. The findings could guide efforts to design better HIV-1 vaccines.

Related Articles


"This study demonstrates a fundamental aspect of antibodies' function and development that was not fully appreciated before," says study author Ron Diskin of the Weizmann Institute of Science. "We show that it will be important to pay more attention to previously ignored regions of antibodies to design effective vaccines."

Scientists have recently found that some HIV-1-infected individuals produce bNAbs naturally several years after infection. Animal studies have shown that these antibodies are very effective at protecting against and controlling HIV-1 infection, but what makes them so effective was unknown. Antibodies are Y-shaped molecules, and most variation is found at the two tips of the Y, called the complementarity determining regions, where antibodies make direct contact with the virus. On the other hand, relatively few mutations have been found in framework regions (the bottom half of the Y), which maintain the structural integrity of the antibody. Until now, the role of framework region mutations had been unclear.

The study, led by Michel Nussenzweig of Rockefeller University and Pamela Bjorkman of the California Institute of Technology, has revealed that HIV-1-fighting bNAbs accumulate mutations in framework regions, in contrast to most antibodies. Surprisingly, these mutations strengthened the antibodies' antiviral activity while conserving key structural features. The researchers suggest that several years are required for infected individuals to produce these potent antibodies because it takes time for the right combination of various mutations to accumulate.

"Our study shows that the immune system has a variety of ways to make effective antibodies and that mutations in antibody framework regions, which are usually not changed when antibodies mutate to increase their efficacy, are required for anti-HIV antibodies," Bjorkman says. "This has clear implications for efforts to raise effective antibodies for the next generation of HIV vaccines."

Dr. Nussenzweig will be speaking at "What Will It Take To Achieve an AIDS-free World?" -- the inaugural translational medicine conference on HIV research organized by Cell and the Lancet, which will bring the audiences and Editors of the Lancet and Cell together to bridge the gap between clinicians and researchers focused on understanding, managing, preventing, and curing HIV/AIDS. The meeting is in San Francisco on November 3-5, 2013.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Florian Klein, Ron Diskin, JohannesF. Scheid, Christian Gaebler, Hugo Mouquet, Ivelin S. Georgiev, Marie Pancera, Tongqing Zhou, Reha-Baris Incesu, BrooksZhongzheng Fu, PriyanthiN.P. Gnanapragasam, ThiagoY. Oliveira, MichaelS. Seaman, PeterD. Kwong, PamelaJ. Bjorkman, MichelC. Nussenzweig. Somatic Mutations of the Immunoglobulin Framework Are Generally Required for Broad and Potent HIV-1 Neutralization. Cell, 2013; 153 (1): 126 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.03.018

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "HIV antibodies that are worth the wait." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328125054.htm>.
Cell Press. (2013, March 28). HIV antibodies that are worth the wait. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328125054.htm
Cell Press. "HIV antibodies that are worth the wait." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328125054.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins