Author(s): Burton DR, Stanfield RL, Wilson IA, Burton DR, Stanfield RL, Wilson IA
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Abstract HIV has evolved many strategies to avoid neutralizing antibody responses, particularly to conserved regions on the external glycoprotein spikes of the virus. Nevertheless, a small number of antibodies have been evolved by the human immune system to recognize conserved parts of the glycoproteins, and therefore, have broadly neutralizing cross-strain activities. These antibodies constitute important tools in the quest to design immunogens that can elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies in humans and hence contribute to an effective HIV vaccine. Crystallographic analyses of the antibodies, in many cases in an antigen-complexed form, have revealed novel and, in some instances, remarkable structural adaptations to attain virus recognition. Antibodies, like HIV, can evolve relatively rapidly through mutation and selection. It seems that the structures of these broadly neutralizing antibodies bear witness to a heroic struggle between two titans of rapid evolution.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in HIV: Current Research