Fab-dimerized glycan-reactive antibodies are a structural category of natural antibodies.

Abstract

Natural antibodies (Abs) can target host glycans on the surface of pathogens. We studied the evolution of glycan-reactive B cells of rhesus macaques and humans using glycosylated HIV-1 envelope (Env) as a model antigen. 2G12 is a broadly neutralizing Ab (bnAb) that targets a conserved glycan patch on Env of geographically diverse HIV-1 strains using a unique heavy-chain (VH) domain-swapped architecture that results in fragment antigen-binding (Fab) dimerization. Here, we describe HIV-1 Env Fab-dimerized glycan (FDG)-reactive bnAbs without VH-swapped domains from simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV)-infected macaques. FDG Abs also recognized cell-surface glycans on diverse pathogens, including yeast and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike. FDG precursors were expanded by glycan-bearing immunogens in macaques and were abundant in HIV-1-naive humans. Moreover, FDG precursors were predominately mutated IgM+IgD+CD27+, thus suggesting that they originated from a pool of antigen-experienced IgM+ or marginal zone B cells.

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Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1016/j.cell.2021.04.042

Publication Info

Williams, Wilton B, R Ryan Meyerhoff, RJ Edwards, Hui Li, Kartik Manne, Nathan I Nicely, Rory Henderson, Ye Zhou, et al. (2021). Fab-dimerized glycan-reactive antibodies are a structural category of natural antibodies. Cell, 184(11). pp. 2955–2972.e25. 10.1016/j.cell.2021.04.042 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/23224.

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Scholars@Duke

Williams

Wilton Bryan Williams

Associate Professor in Surgery

Dr. Williams completed a PhD in Biomedical Sciences (Immunology and Microbiology) from the University of Florida and did his postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Dr. Barton Haynes at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI).

The key goals of HIV vaccine development are to define the host-virus events during natural HIV infection that lead to the induction of broadly neutralizing antibodies, and to recreate those events with a vaccine. As a junior faculty member in the DHVI, Dr. Williams is further characterizing SHIV non-human primate models for HIV infection, and evaluates B cell responses to HIV-1 vaccination in humans and non-human primates.

Meyerhoff

Ryan Meyerhoff

House Staff

Program Start Year:  2013
Barton Haynes Laboratory

"Studies of Immunogens to Induce Broadly Neutralizing HIV Antibodies"

Henderson

Rory Henderson

Associate Professor in Medicine

Dr. Rory Henderson is an assistant professor in Medicine at Duke University, the head of molecular modeling and simulation in the Division of Structural Biology at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, and the Project 1 lead for the Duke Center for HIV Structural Biology (DCHSB).

Dr. Henderson’s lab focuses on understanding how the dynamics of macromolecules of the immune system and its antigenic targets determine the immune response to infection and how these dynamics can be manipulated to guide the selection of a favorable antibody response. We utilize a diverse computational and experimental tool set to interrogate key pathogen and antibody dynamics and use rational design principles to design immunogens and probe putative functional mechanisms.  

With Dr. Henderson’s background in molecular modeling and simulation along with biochemical and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) techniques, he and his lab investigate these details at high spatial and temporal resolution. Together, these methods provide a promising approach toward accelerating the design and characterization of the next generation of vaccine immunogens.

Mario-Juan Borgnia

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biochemistry
Moody

Michael Anthony Moody

Professor of Pediatrics

Tony Moody, MD is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases and Professor in the Department of Integrative Immunobiology at Duke University Medical Center. Research in the Moody lab is focused on understanding the B cell responses during infection, vaccination, and disease. The lab has become a resource for human phenotyping, flow characterization, staining and analysis at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI). The Moody lab is currently funded to study influenza, syphilis, HIV-1, and emerging infectious diseases.

Dr. Moody is the director of the Duke CIVICs Vaccine Center (DCVC) at (DHVI) and co-director of the Centers for Research of Emerging Infectious Disease Coordinating Center (CREID-CC). Dr. Moody is mPI of a U01 program to develop a syphilis vaccine; this program is a collaboration with mPI Dr. Justin Radolf at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Moody is also the director of the DHVI Accessioning Unit, a biorepository that provides support for work occurring at DHVI and with its many collaborators around the world by providing processing, shipping, and inventory support for a wide array of projects.

Dr. Moody and his team are involved in many networks studying vaccine response including the Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers (CIVICs) and the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN).

Wiehe

Kevin J Wiehe

Associate Professor in Medicine

Dr. Kevin Wiehe is the director of research, director of computational biology and co-director of the Quantitative Research Division at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI). He has over 20 years of experience in the field of computational biology and has expertise in computational structural biology, computational genomics, and computational immunology.

For the past decade, he has applied his unique background to developing computational approaches for studying the B cell response in both the infection and vaccination settings. He has utilized his expertise in computational structural biology to structurally model and characterize HIV and influenza antibody recognition. Dr. Wiehe has utilized his expertise in computational genomics and computational immunology to develop software to analyze large scale next generation sequencing data of antibody repertoires as well as develop computational programs for estimating antibody mutation probabilities. Dr. Wiehe has shown that low probability antibody mutations can act as rate-limiting steps in the development of broadly neutralizing antibodies in HIV.

Through his PhD, postdoc work, and now his roles at DHVI, Dr. Wiehe always approaches the analysis and the scientific discovery process from a structural biology perspective. Supporting the Duke Center for HIV Structural Biology (DCHSB), Dr. Wiehe will conduct antibody sequence analysis for antibodies used in computational and molecular modeling analyses conducted.

Alam

S. Munir Alam

Professor in Medicine

Research Interests. 

The Alam laboratory’s primary research is focused on understanding the biophysical properties of antigen-antibody binding and the molecular events of early B cell activation using the HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibody (bnAb) lineage models. We are studying how HIV-1 Envelope proteins of varying affinities are sensed by B cells expressing HIV-1 bnAbs or their germline antigen receptors and initiate early signaling events for their activation. In the long-term these studies will facilitate design and pre-selection of immunogens for testing in animal models and accelerate HIV-1 vaccine development.
Current research include the following NIAID-funded projects   

Antigen recognition and activation of B cell antigen receptors with the specificity of HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies. This project involves elucidating the early events on the B cell surface following antigen (Ag) engagement of the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) and to provide an assessment of the in vivo potential of an Ag to drive B cell activation. We are performing biophysical interactions analyses and using high-resolution microscopy to define the physico-chemical properties of BCR-Ag interactions that govern signaling and activation thresholds for BCR triggering and the BCR endocytic function in antigen internalization. The overall objective of these studies is to bridge the quantitative biophysical and membrane dynamics measurements of Ag-BCR interactions to ex-vivo and in-vivo B cell activation. This NIAID-funded research is a collaboration with co-investigators Professor Michael Reth (University of Freiburg, Germany) and Dr. Laurent Verkoczy (San Diego Biomedical Research Institute, CA).  

Immunogen Design for Induction of HIV gp41 Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies. This research project addresses the critical problem of vaccine induction of disfavored HIV-1 antibody lineages, like those that target the membrane proximal external region (MPER) of HIV Env gp41. This program combines structure and lineage-based vaccine development strategies to design immunogens that will induce bnAb lineages that are not polyreactive and therefore easier to induce. The overall objective of this program grant is to develop and test sequential immunogens that will initiate and induce HIV-1 bnAb lineages like the potent MPER bnAb DH511. Using a germline-targeting (GT) epitope scaffold design and a prime/boost strategy, we are testing induction of DH511-like bnAbs in knock-in (KI) mice models expressing the DH511 germline receptors. This P01 research program is in collaboration with Dr. William Schief (The Scripps Research Institute, CA), who leads the team that are designing germline targeting (GT)-scaffold prime and boost immunogens and Dr. Ming Tian at Harvard University who developed relevant knock-mice models for the study.
Perfect

John Robert Perfect

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Research in my laboratory focuses around several aspects of medical mycology. We are investigating antifungal agents (new and old) in animal models of candida and cryptococcal infections. We have examined clinical correlation of in vitro antifungal susceptibility testing and with in vivo outcome. Our basic science project examines the molecular pathogenesis of cryptococcal infections. We have developed a molecular foundation for C. neoformans, including transformation systems, gene disruptions, differential gene expression screens, and cloning pathogenesis genes. The goal of this work is to use C. neoformans as a model yeast system to identify molecular targets for antifungal drug development. There are a series of clinical trials in fungal infections which are being coordinated through this laboratory and my work also includes a series of antibiotic trials in various aspects of infections. Finally, we have now been awarded a NIH sponsored Mycology Unit for 5 years with 6 senior investigators which is focused on C. neoformans as a pathogenic model system, but will include multiple areas of medical mycology from diagnosis to treatment.

Kelsoe

Garnett H. Kelsoe

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Immunology
  1. Lymphocyte development and antigen-driven diversification of immunoglobulin and T cell antigen receptor genes.
    2. The germinal center reaction and mechanisms for clonal selection and self - tolerance. The origins of autoimmunity.
    3. Interaction of innate- and adaptive immunity and the role of inflammation in lymphoid organogenesis.
    4. The role of secondary V(D)J gene rearrangment in lymphocyte development and malignancies.
    5. Mathematical modeling of immune responses, DNA motifs, collaborations in bioinformatics.
    6. Humoral immunity to influenza and HIV-1.
Saunders

Kevin O'Neil Saunders

Norman L. Letvin M. D. Distinguished Professor in Surgery and the Duke Human Vaccine Institute

Dr. Kevin O. Saunders graduated from Davidson College in 2005 with a bachelor of science in biology. At Davidson College, he trained in the laboratory of Dr. Karen Hales identifying the genetic basis of infertility. Dr. Saunders completed his doctoral research on CD8+ T cell immunity against HIV-1 infection with Dr. Georgia Tomaras at Duke University in 2010. He subsequently trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratories of Drs. Gary Nabel and John Mascola at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center.

In 2014, Dr. Saunders joined the faculty at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute as a medical instructor. In this role, he analyzed antibody responses in vaccinated macaques, which led to the identification of glycan-dependent HIV antibodies induced by vaccination. Dr. Saunders was appointed as a non-tenure track Assistant Professor of Surgery and the Director of the Laboratory of Protein Expression in the Duke Human Vaccine Institute in 2015. He successfully transitioned to a tenure-track appointment in 2018 and was later promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in Surgery in 2020. In 2022, Dr. Saunders became an Associate Professor with tenure. He rose to the rank of Professor with tenure in 2024, and was subsequently awarded the Norman L. Letvin, MD Professor in Immunology and Infectious Diseases Research in Surgery and the Duke Human Vaccine Institute distinguished professorship. Dr. Saunders previously served as DHVI's associate director of research, director or research, and currently serves as the associate director for DHVI. Additionally, Dr. Saunders serves as the faculty chairperson for the DHVI diversity, equity, and inclusion committee.

Dr. Saunders has given invited lectures at international conferences such as HIVR4P and the Keystone Symposia for HIV Vaccines. He has authored book chapters and numerous journal articles and holds patents on vaccine design concepts and antiviral antibodies. As a faculty member at Duke, Dr. Saunders has received the Duke Human Vaccine Institute Outstanding Leadership Award and the Norman Letvin Center For HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology and Immunogen Discovery Outstanding Investigator Award, Ruth and A. Morris Williams Faculty Research Prize, and the Duke Medical Alumni Emerging Leader Award. His current research interests include vaccine and antibody development to combat HIV-1, coronavirus, and other emerging viral infections.

About the Saunders Laboratory
The Saunders laboratory aims to understand the immunology of broadly protective antibodies and the molecular biology of their interaction with viral glycoprotein. The laboratory utilizes single B cell PCR, bulk B cell sequencing, and antigen-specific next-generation sequencing to probe the antibody repertoire during natural infection and after vaccination. Our overall goal is to develop protective antibody-based vaccines; therefore, the laboratory is divided into two sections–Immunoprofiling and Vaccine/Therapeutics design. We employ a reverse vaccinology approach to vaccine design where we study broadly protective antibodies in order to design vaccines that elicit such antibodies. To elicit broadly protective antibody responses, the Saunders laboratory utilizes epitope-focused nanoparticle vaccines. While eliciting broad protection is our overall goal, we are also interested in the immunologic mechanisms that make the vaccines successful.

Anti-glycan HIV-1 antibody biology. Our research premise is that vaccine-elicited antibodies will broadly neutralize HIV-1 if they can bind directly to the host glycans on Env. However, Env glycans are poorly immunogenic and require specific targeting by a vaccine immunogen to elicit an antibody response.  Using this technique we identified two monoclonal antibodies from HIV Env vaccinated macaques called DH501 and DH502 that bind directly to mannose glycans and to HIV-1 envelope (Env). We have characterized these antibodies using glycan immunoassays, antibody engineering, and x-ray crystallography to define the mechanisms of Env-glycan interaction by these antibodies. Glycan-reactive HIV antibodies have mostly been found in the repertoire as IgG2 and IgM isotypes—similar to known natural glycan antibodies. Therefore we are examining whether vaccines mobilize antibodies from the natural glycan pool that affinity mature to interact with HIV-1 envelope. During this work, we discovered that Man9GlcNAc2 is the glycan preferred by early precursors in broadly neutralizing antibody lineages. We translated this finding into a vaccine design strategy that we have termed “glycan learning.” This approach modifies the number of glycans and type of glycosylation of HIV-1 Env immunogens to be optimal for engagement of the precursor antibody. The Env glycosylation sites and glycan type are then modified on subsequent Env immunogens to select antibodies that are maturing towards a broadly neutralizing phenotype. We have developed cell culture procedures and purification strategies combined with mass spectrometry analyses to create Env immunogens with specific glycosylation profiles. While the overall goal is to elicit protective neutralizing antibodies in vivo, we use these Env antigens in vitro to investigate the biology of B cell receptor engagement. 

HIV-1 Sequential vaccine design. The discovery of lineages of broadly neutralizing antibodies in HIV-infected individuals has provided templates for vaccine design.  Utilizing viral sequences from individuals that make broadly neutralizing antibodies, we further engineer the viral protein to preferentially bind the desired type of antibody. We partner heavily with structural biologists and bioinformaticians to design optimized vaccine immunogens for in vitro and preclinical testing. We are investigating the hypothesis that broadly neutralizing antibodies can be engaged with envelope immunogens specifically designed to target them, and that engineered envelopes can select for the broadly neutralizing antibody precursors to develop into a broadly neutralizing antibody. We examine antibody responses in vaccinated humanized mice and monkeys to discern if the vaccine elicits antibodies that are similar to the known human broadly neutralizing antibody targets. Vaccines that are effective in animal models are translated for manufacturing and evaluation in Phase I clinical trials.

Pancoronavirus vaccine development. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saunders laboratory and DHVI as a whole worked to isolate broadly neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and related viruses. These antibodies then served as a template for the development of receptor binding domain nanoparticle vaccines we call RBD-scNP. These vaccines protected monkeys and mice from SARS-CoV-2 and animal coronaviruses. This vaccine has been translated to GMP manufacturing and will be examined in a Phase I clinical trial. The laboratory continues to apply similar approaches against other targets on coronaviruses to ultimately generate protective immunity against most coronaviruses. The laboratory explores different delivery methods including slow-release technology and nucleoside-modified mRNA delivery.

Taken together, our research program is an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the molecular biology underlying antibody recognition of viral glycoproteins in order to produce protective vaccines.

Bartesaghi

Alberto Bartesaghi

Associate Professor of Computer Science

Dr. Bartesaghi is an Associate Professor in the departments of Computer Science, Biochemistry and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. The Bartesaghi Lab focuses on the development of machine learning approaches to determine the structure of macromolecular complexes of general biomedical interest using single-particle cryo-electron microscopy, cryo-electron tomography, and sub-volume averaging. Some of our targets include glycoproteins of enveloped viruses like HIV, Influenza and Ebola, transporters and channels involved in signaling and metabolism, GPCRs, DNA-targeting CRISPR-Cas surveillance complexes, and targets for cancer drugs. The lab also works more broadly in the fields of deep learning and artificial intelligence, computer vision, biomedical imaging, and high-performance computing.

Acharya

Priyamvada Acharya

Associate Professor in Surgery

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