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Antiviral Activity of HIV gp120-Targeting Bispecific T Cell Engager Antibody Constructs


Brozy, Johannes; Schlaepfer, Erika; Mueller, Christina K S; Rochat, Mary-Aude; Rampini, Silvana K; Myburgh, Renier; Raum, Tobias; Kufer, Peter; Baeuerle, Patrick A; Muenz, Markus; Speck, Roberto F (2018). Antiviral Activity of HIV gp120-Targeting Bispecific T Cell Engager Antibody Constructs. Journal of Virology, 92(14):1-13.

Abstract

Today's gold standard in HIV therapy is combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). It requires strict adherence by patients and lifelong medication, which can lower the viral load below detection limits and prevent HIV-associated immunodeficiency but cannot cure patients. The bispecific T cell-engaging (BiTE) antibody technology has demonstrated long-term relapse-free outcomes in patients with relapsed and refractory acute lymphocytic leukemia. Here, we generated BiTE antibody constructs that target the HIV-1 envelope protein gp120 (HIV gp120) using either the scFv B12 or VRC01, the first two extracellular domains (1 + 2) of human CD4 alone or joined to the single chain variable fragment (scFv) of the antibody 17b fused to an anti-human CD3ε scFv. These engineered human BiTE antibody constructs showed engagement of T cells for redirected lysis of HIV gp120-transfected CHO cells. Furthermore, they substantially inhibited HIV-1 replication in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) as well as in macrophages cocultured with autologous CD8+ T cells, the most potent being the human CD4(1 + 2) BiTE [termed CD(1 + 2) h BiTE] antibody construct and the CD4(1 + 2)L17b BiTE antibody construct. The CD4(1 + 2) h BiTE antibody construct promoted HIV infection of human CD4-/CD8+ T cells. In contrast, the neutralizing B12 and the VRC01 BiTE antibody constructs, as well as the CD4(1 + 2)L17b BiTE antibody construct, did not. Thus, BiTE antibody constructs targeting HIV gp120 are very promising for constraining HIV and warrant further development as novel antiviral therapy with curative potential.IMPORTANCE HIV is a chronic infection well controlled with the current cART. However, we lack a cure for HIV, and the HIV pandemic goes on. Here, we showed in vitro and ex vivo that a BiTE antibody construct targeting HIV gp120 resulted in substantially reduced HIV replication. In addition, these BiTE antibody constructs display efficient killing of gp120-expressing cells and inhibited replication in ex vivo HIV-infected PBMCs or macrophages. We believe that BiTE antibody constructs recognizing HIV gp120 could be a very valuable strategy for a cure of HIV in combination with cART and compounds which reverse latency.

Abstract

Today's gold standard in HIV therapy is combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). It requires strict adherence by patients and lifelong medication, which can lower the viral load below detection limits and prevent HIV-associated immunodeficiency but cannot cure patients. The bispecific T cell-engaging (BiTE) antibody technology has demonstrated long-term relapse-free outcomes in patients with relapsed and refractory acute lymphocytic leukemia. Here, we generated BiTE antibody constructs that target the HIV-1 envelope protein gp120 (HIV gp120) using either the scFv B12 or VRC01, the first two extracellular domains (1 + 2) of human CD4 alone or joined to the single chain variable fragment (scFv) of the antibody 17b fused to an anti-human CD3ε scFv. These engineered human BiTE antibody constructs showed engagement of T cells for redirected lysis of HIV gp120-transfected CHO cells. Furthermore, they substantially inhibited HIV-1 replication in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) as well as in macrophages cocultured with autologous CD8+ T cells, the most potent being the human CD4(1 + 2) BiTE [termed CD(1 + 2) h BiTE] antibody construct and the CD4(1 + 2)L17b BiTE antibody construct. The CD4(1 + 2) h BiTE antibody construct promoted HIV infection of human CD4-/CD8+ T cells. In contrast, the neutralizing B12 and the VRC01 BiTE antibody constructs, as well as the CD4(1 + 2)L17b BiTE antibody construct, did not. Thus, BiTE antibody constructs targeting HIV gp120 are very promising for constraining HIV and warrant further development as novel antiviral therapy with curative potential.IMPORTANCE HIV is a chronic infection well controlled with the current cART. However, we lack a cure for HIV, and the HIV pandemic goes on. Here, we showed in vitro and ex vivo that a BiTE antibody construct targeting HIV gp120 resulted in substantially reduced HIV replication. In addition, these BiTE antibody constructs display efficient killing of gp120-expressing cells and inhibited replication in ex vivo HIV-infected PBMCs or macrophages. We believe that BiTE antibody constructs recognizing HIV gp120 could be a very valuable strategy for a cure of HIV in combination with cART and compounds which reverse latency.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic and Policlinic for Internal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Infectious Diseases
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Immunology, Insect Science, Microbiology, Virology
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:12 Jul 2018 10:39
Last Modified:24 Sep 2019 23:32
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:0022-538X
OA Status:Green
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00491-18
PubMed ID:29720517

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