The green area marks the location of the V1V2 region, where CAP256-VRC26 and other broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies bind. The blue, red and circled areas mark the three other sites where most known broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies bind. The flat area at the top represents the surface membrane of the virus.
In an advance for HIV vaccine research, a scientific team has discovered how the immune system makes a powerful antibody that blocks HIV infection of cells by targeting a site on the virus called V1V2. Many researchers believe that if a vaccine could elicit potent antibodies to a specific conserved site in the V1V2 region, one of a handful of sites that remains constant on the fast-mutating virus, then the vaccine could protect people from HIV infection. Analyses of the results of a clinical trial of the only experimental HIV vaccine to date to have modest success in people suggest that antibodies to sites within V1V2 were protective. The new findings point the way toward a potentially more effective vaccine that would generate V1V2-directed HIV neutralizing antibodies.
NA Doria-Rose et al. Developmental pathway for potent V1V2-directed HIV-neutralizing antibodies. Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature13036 (2014).
NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., and NIAID Vaccine Research Center Director John R. Mascola, M.D., are available for comment.
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