Kinetic mechanism for HIV-1 neutralization by antibody 2G12 entails reversible glycan binding that slows cell entry

Emily J. Platt, Michelle M. Gomes, David Kabat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Despite structural knowledge of broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (NMAbs) complexed to HIV-1 gp120 and gp41 envelope glycoproteins, virus inactivation mechanisms have been difficult to prove, in part because neutralization assays are complex and were previously not understood. Concordant with recent evidence that HIV-1 titers are determined by a race between entry of cell-attached virions and competing inactivation processes, we show that NMAb 2G12, which binds to gp120 N-glycans with α (1, 2)- linked mannose termini and inhibits replication after passive transfer into patients, neutralizes by slowing entry of adsorbed virions. Accordingly, apparent neutralization is attenuated when a kinetically competing virus inactivation pathway is blocked. Moreover, removing 2G12 from media causes its dissociation from virions coupled to accelerated entry and restored infectivity, demonstrating the reversibility of neutralization. A difference between 2G12 dissociation and infectivity recovery rates implies that the inhibited complexes at virus-cell junctions contain several 2G12's that must dissociate before entry commences. Quantitative microscopy of 2G12 binding and dissociation from single virions and studies using a split CCR5 coreceptor suggest that 2G12 competitively inhibits interactions between gp120's V3 loop and the tyrosine sulfate-containing CCR5 amino terminus, thereby reducing assembly of complexes that catalyze entry. These results reveal a unique reversible kinetic mechanism for neutralization by an antibody that binds near a critical V3 region in the glycan shield of gp120.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7829-7834
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 15 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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