Antibody Recognition of CD4-Induced Open HIV-1 Env Trimers

Zhi Yang, Kim Marie A. Dam, Jonathan M. Gershoni, Susan Zolla-Pazner, Pamela J. Bjorkman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope (Env), a hetero-trimer of gp120-gp41 subunits, mediates fusion of the viral and host cell membranes after interactions with the host receptor CD4 and a coreceptor. CD4 binding induces rearrangements in Env trimer, resulting in a CD4-induced (CD4i) open Env conformation. Structural studies of antibodies isolated from infected donors have defined antibody-Env interactions, with one class of antibodies specifically recognizing the CD4i open Env conformation. In this study, we characterized a group of monoclonal antibodies isolated from HIV-1 infected donors (V2i MAbs) that displayed characteristics of CD4i antibodies. Binding experiments demonstrated that the V2i MAbs preferentially recognize CD4-bound open Env trimers. Structural characterizations of V2i MAb-Env-CD4 trimer complexes using single-particle cryo-electron microscopy showed recognition by V2i MAbs using different angles of approach to the gp120 V1V2 domain and the b2/b3 strands on a CD4i open conformation Env with no direct interactions of the MAbs with CD4. We also characterized CG10, a CD4i antibody that was raised in mice immunized with a gp120-CD4 complex, bound to an Env trimer plus CD4. CG10 exhibited characteristics similar to those of the V2i antibodies, i.e., recognition of the open Env conformation, but showed direct contacts to both CD4 and gp120. Structural comparisons of these and previously characterized CD4i antibody interactions with Env provide a suggested mechanism for how these antibodies are elicited during HIV-1 infection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • CD4i antibody
  • CG10 antibody
  • HIV-1 Env
  • V2i MAb
  • monoclonal antibodies


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