The membrane-proximal external region (MPER) of HIV gp41 is an established target of antibodies that neutralize a broad range of HIV isolates. To evaluate the role of the transmembrane (TM) domain, synthetic MPER-derived peptides were incorporated into lipid nanoparticles using natural and designed TM domains, and antibody affinity was measured using immobilized and solution-based techniques. Peptides incorporating the native HIV TM domain exhibit significantly stronger interactions with neutralizing antibodies than peptides with a monomeric TM domain. Furthermore, a peptide with a trimeric, three-helix bundle TM domain recapitulates the binding profile of the native sequence. These studies suggest that neutralizing antibodies can bind the MPER when the TM domain is a three-helix bundle and this presentation could influence the binding of neutralizing antibodies to the virus. Lipid-bilayer presentation of viral antigens in Nanodiscs is a new platform for evaluating neutralizing antibodies.
- membrane proteins
ASJC Scopus subject areas