AIDS research and therapy 2017 09 1214(1) 42 doi 10.1186/s12981-017-0168-5
Collective evidence supporting a role of Antibody-Dependent Cell-Mediated Cytotoxicity (ADCC) in controlling HIV-1 transmission and disease progression emerged in the last few years. Non-neutralizing antibodies (nnAbs) recognizing conserved CD4-induced epitopes on Env and able to mediate potent ADCC against HIV-1-infected cells exposing Env in its CD4-bound conformation have been shown to be present in some RV144 vaccinees and most HIV-1-infected individuals. HIV-1 evolved sophisticated strategies to decrease exposure of this Env conformation by downregulating CD4 and by limiting the overall amount of cell-surface Env. In this review, we will summarize our contribution to this rapidly evolving field, discuss how structural properties of HIV-1 Env might have contributed to the modest efficacy of the RV144 trial and how we recently used this knowledge to develop new strategies aimed at sensitizing HIV-1-infected cells to ADCC mediated by easy to elicit nnAbs.