Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 9390746
AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses 1997 Nov;13(17):1471-85
We analyzed the fine specificity of anti-V3 antibodies elicited in three different species (human, guinea pig, and macaque) by various HIV candidate vaccines. Following immunization with recombinant canarypox virus expressing gp160MN or with recombinant gp160MN/LAI, this antibody response was shown to be directed against the NH2-terminal region of the V3 loop. Although this response was increased by a prime-boost regimen using immunization with canarypox expressing gp160 followed by an rgp160 boost, its specificity remained restricted mainly to the recognition of this region of the V3 loop. Pepscan analysis of sera confirmed the results obtained by ELISA and allowed the definition of an immunodominant common binding site for these sera located within the sequence NKRKRIHIGPGR. In contrast to these results, a boost with the V3 peptide was shown to broaden the antibody response and pepscan analysis showed that sera from individuals boosted with the V3 synthetic peptide recognize determinants all along the V3 loop. Similar fine specificity of anti-V3 antibodies was obtained in human, guinea pig, and macaque following immunization by a prime-boost regimen using canarypox recombinants expressing gp160 or gp120 and purified rgp160. In contrast, a V3 synthetic peptide boost stimulated the production of antibodies that recognize multiple epitopes within the V3 loop. Because the induction of antibodies that recognize multiple sites in the V3 loop could be of major importance to neutralize different HIV isolates, these results may have implications for the design and selection of HIV candidate vaccines.