To determine the effect of IgG2 opsonization on internalization of HIV-1 virus-like particles (VLPs) by monocytes and to determine the effect of gp120 glycosylation on IgG subclass binding.Design:
Fc-Fcγ receptor (FcγR) interactions are important in antibody-mediated protection from lentivirus infection. Such interactions are influenced by IgG subclass, with IgG2 having low affinity to most FcγRs. We determined the impact of IgG2 on internalization of antibody-opsonized VLPs. It is also known that gp120 glycans affect the binding and function of anti-gp120 antibodies. We determined whether binding of each IgG subclass to recombinant gp120 (rgp120) was similarly impacted by gp120 glycosylation.Methods:
Green fluorescent protein (GFP) containing VLPs were opsonized with IgG and IgG2-depleted IgG from individuals vaccinated with rgp120 during the Vax004 vaccine trial. Opsonized VLPs were incubated with peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy donors (n = 46), and percentages of GFP+ monocytes were determined by flow cytometry. IgG subclass binding of pooled and individual sera to rgp120 and to deglycosylated (PNGase-treated) rgp120 was determined by ELISA.Results:
IgG2 elicited by rgp120 vaccination inhibited internalization of antibody-opsonized HIV-1 VLPs by monocytes from healthy individuals (P = 2.8 × 10−5). We also found that both IgG2 and IgG4 bound more poorly to enzymatically deglycosylated rgp120 than to unchanged rgp120. On the contrary, IgG1 and IgG3 bound slightly better to deglycosylated rgp120.Conclusion:
Vaccine-induced IgG2 may adversely affect a potentially important antiviral antibody activity, and altering Env glycans might provide the means to bias the subclass response in a favorable direction.