Identification of human anti-HIV gp160 monoclonal antibodies that make effective immunotoxins

Seth H. Pincus, Kejing Song, Grace A. Maresh, Dean H. Hamer, Dimiter S. Dimitrov, Weizao Chen, Mei Yun Zhang, Victor F. Ghetie, Po Ying Chan-Hui, James E. Robinson, Ellen S. Vitetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The envelope (Env) glycoprotein of HIV is the only intact viral protein expressed on the surface of both virions and infected cells. Env is the target of neutralizing antibodies (Abs) and has been the subject of intense study in efforts to produce HIV vaccines. Therapeutic anti-Env Abs can also exert antiviral effects via Fcmediated effector mechanisms or as cytotoxic immunoconjugates, such as immunotoxins (ITs). In the course of screening monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) for their ability to deliver cytotoxic agents to infected or Env-transfected cells, we noted disparities in their functional activities. Different MAbs showed diverse functions that did not correlate with each other. For example, MAbs against the external loop region of gp41 made the most effective ITs against infected cells but did not neutralize virus and bound only moderately to the same cells that they killed so effectively when they were used in ITs. There were also differences in IT-mediated killing among transfected and infected cell lines that were unrelated to the binding of the MAb to the target cells. Our studies of a well-characterized antigen demonstrate that MAbs against different epitopes have different functional activities and that the binding of one MAb can influence the interaction of other MAbs that bind elsewhere on the antigen. These results have implications for the use of MAbs and ITs to kill HIVinfected cells and eradicate persistent reservoirs of HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere01955-16
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017


  • Epitope
  • Gp160
  • HIV envelope
  • Immunotoxin
  • Monoclonal antibody

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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