Journal of virology 2018 02 1292(5) pii 10.1128/JVI.01883-17
Recently discovered broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) against HIV-1 demonstrate extensive breadth and potency against diverse HIV-1 strains and represent a promising approach for the treatment and prevention of HIV-1 infection. The breadth and potency of these antibodies have primarily been evaluated by using panels of HIV-1 Env-pseudotyped viruses produced in 293T cells expressing molecularly cloned Env proteins. Here we report on the ability of five bNAbs currently in clinical development to neutralize circulating primary HIV-1 isolates derived from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and compare the results to those obtained with the pseudovirus panels used to characterize the bNAbs. The five bNAbs demonstrated significantly less breadth and potency against clinical isolates produced in PBMCs than against Env-pseudotyped viruses. The magnitude of this difference in neutralizing activity varied, depending on the antibody epitope. Glycan-targeting antibodies showed differences of only 3- to 4-fold, while antibody 10E8, which targets the membrane-proximal external region, showed a nearly 100-fold decrease in activity between published Env-pseudotyped virus panels and PBMC-derived primary isolates. Utilizing clonal PBMC-derived primary isolates and molecular clones, we determined that the observed discrepancy in bNAb performance is due to the increased sensitivity to neutralization exhibited by 293T-produced Env-pseudotyped viruses. We also found that while full-length molecularly cloned viruses produced in 293T cells exhibit greater sensitivity to neutralization than PBMC-derived viruses do, Env-pseudotyped viruses produced in 293T cells generally exhibit even greater sensitivity to neutralization. As the clinical development of bNAbs progresses, it will be critical to determine the relevance of each of theseneutralization assays toantibody performance.Novel therapeutic and preventive strategies are needed to contain the HIV-1 epidemic. Antibodies with exceptional neutralizing activity against HIV-1 may provide several advantages to traditional HIV drugs, including an improved side-effect profile, a reduced dosing frequency, and immune enhancement. The activity of these antibodies has been establishedby utilizing HIV-1 Env-pseudotyped viruses derived from circulating viruses but produced in 293T cells by pairing Env proteins with a backbone vector. We tested PBMC-produced circulating viruses against five anti-HIV-1 antibodies currently in clinical development. We found that the activity of these antibodies against PBMC isolates is significantly less than that against 293T Env-pseudotyped viruses. This decline varied among the antibodies tested, with some demonstrating moderate reductions in activity and others showing an almost 100-fold reduction. As the development of these antibodies progresses, it will be critical to determine how the results of differenttests correspond to performance in the clinic.