Structure (London, England : 1993) 2017 10 1925(11) 1719-1731.e4 pii 10.1016/j.str.2017.09.009
Antibodies can have an impact on HIV-1 infection in multiple ways, including antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), a correlate of protection observed in the RV144 vaccine trial. One of the most potent ADCC-inducing epitopes on HIV-1 Env is recognized by the C11 antibody. Here, we present the crystal structure, at 2.9 Å resolution, of the C11-like antibody N12-i3, in a quaternary complex with the HIV-1 gp120, a CD4-mimicking peptide M48U1, and an A32-like antibody, N5-i5. Antibody N12-i3 recognizes an epitope centered on the N-terminal "eighth strand" of a critical β sandwich, which our analysis indicates to be emblematic of a late-entry state, after the gp120 detachment. In prior entry states, this sandwich comprises only seven strands, with the eighth strand instead pairing with a portion of the gp120 C terminus. The conformational gymnastics of HIV-1 gp120 thus includes altered β-strand pairing, possibly to reduce immunogenicity, although nevertheless still recognized by the human immune system.