Immune checkpoint modulation enhances HIV-1 antibody induction.

Abstract

Eliciting protective titers of HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) is a goal of HIV-1 vaccine development, but current vaccine strategies have yet to induce bnAbs in humans. Many bnAbs isolated from HIV-1-infected individuals are encoded by immunoglobulin gene rearrangments with infrequent naive B cell precursors and with unusual genetic features that may be subject to host regulatory control. Here, we administer antibodies targeting immune cell regulatory receptors CTLA-4, PD-1 or OX40 along with HIV envelope (Env) vaccines to rhesus macaques and bnAb immunoglobulin knock-in (KI) mice expressing diverse precursors of CD4 binding site HIV-1 bnAbs. CTLA-4 blockade augments HIV-1 Env antibody responses in macaques, and in a bnAb-precursor mouse model, CTLA-4 blocking or OX40 agonist antibodies increase germinal center B and T follicular helper cells and plasma neutralizing antibodies. Thus, modulation of CTLA-4 or OX40 immune checkpoints during vaccination can promote germinal center activity and enhance HIV-1 Env antibody responses.

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Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1038/s41467-020-14670-w

Publication Info

Bradley, Todd, Masayuki Kuraoka, Chen-Hao Yeh, Ming Tian, Huan Chen, Derek W Cain, Xuejun Chen, Cheng Cheng, et al. (2020). Immune checkpoint modulation enhances HIV-1 antibody induction. Nature communications, 11(1). p. 948. 10.1038/s41467-020-14670-w Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/21940.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.

Scholars@Duke

Yeh

Chen-Hao Yeh

Assistant Professor in Medicine

Dr. Yeh completed his undergraduate and Master of Science degree at the National Taiwan University in Taipei. He then pursued his Ph.D. at the University of Tokyo in Japan. He moved to Durham in 2015 for postdoctoral training in Dr. Garnett Kelsoe’s laboratory at the Duke Department of Immunology.

Dr. Yeh holds a broad academic background in biochemistry and immunology, with specific training and expertise in lymphocyte development and differentiation. His research has focused on: 1) germinal center (GC) B cell selection, differentiation and antibody affinity maturation and 2) T follicular helper (Tfh) cell differentiation and TCR repertoire analysis. 

Over the years, Dr. Yeh has demonstrated that B-cell selection based on surface pMHCII density is stringent in the establishment of GCs, but relatively relaxed during GC responses; this observation has led to fundamental revisions in the standard models for affinity-driven selection. With multiple genetic models to identify GC-resident Tfh cells in the mouse, Dr. Yeh also showed that the standard phenotypic definition of “GCTfh” included a majority of T cells that do not enter GCs. The more abundant Tfh-like cells have distinct developmental requirements, TCR repertoires and transcriptomic profiles compared to the rarer GC-resident Tfh cells, implying distinct physiologies and function. In addition, Dr. Yeh has categorized the phenotype of memory and GC B cell populations in Rhesus macaque (RM) as a step forward in understanding humoral responses in RMs and to enable isolation of live GC B cells for in vitro culture.

Cain

Derek Wilson Cain

Associate Professor in Medicine

My research focuses on the interactions of T cells and B cells during infection or following vaccination. I am particularly interested in the inter- and intracellular events that take place within germinal centers, the anatomic site of antibody evolution during an immune response.


Wiehe

Kevin J Wiehe

Norman L. Letvin Associate Professor in Medicine

Dr. Kevin Wiehe is the associate 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.

Saunders

Kevin O'Neil Saunders

Professor in Surgery

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. Dr. Saunders previously served as DHVI's director or research and currently serves as the associate director for DHVI.

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. His current research interests include vaccine and antibody development to combat HIV-1 and coronavirus infections.

About the Saunders Laboratory
The Saunders laboratory aims to understand the immunology of HIV-1 antibodies and the molecular biology of their interaction with HIV-1 envelope (Env) glycoprotein. Our overall goal is to develop protective antibody-based vaccines; therefore, the laboratory has two sections–antibody repertoire analysis and immunogen design. 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.

Anti-glycan HIV-1 antibody biology. The laboratory utilizes single B cell PCR to probe the antibody repertoire during natural infection and after vaccination. 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 are rarely elicited with HIV-1 vaccination; therefore we have studied the ontogeny of DH501 using longitudinal next generation sequencing and reversion of somatic mutations within the antibody variable regions. DH501 and DH502 antibodies are mostly 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. The results of these studies inform us about the similarities and differences between vaccine-induced glycan-reactive antibodies and known broadly neutralizing HIV-1 antibodies from human natural infection. These comparative studies define the molecular biology of glycan-reactive antibodies as well as determine how close current vaccines are to inducing glycan-dependent broadly neutralizing antibodies.

HIV-1 Env immunogen design. The discovery of lineages of broadly neutralizing antibodies in HIV-infected individuals has provided templates for vaccine design. With knowledge of the antibodies we desire to elicit we can engineer the HIV-1 Env to preferentially bind to those antibodies. 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 glycosylation of HIV-1 Env immunogens to be the optimal glycan type for engagement of the precursor antibody of glycan-reactive broadly neutralizing HIV-1 antibody lineages. 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. More specifically, we investigate the effects of various immunogen delivery platforms, such as protein or gold nanoparticles, nucleic acid, or recombinant viral vectors on B cell activation.

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

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.
Haynes

Barton Ford Haynes

Frederic M. Hanes Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Barton F. Haynes, M.D. is the Frederic M. Hanes Professor of Medicine and Immunology, and Director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute. Prior to leading the DHVI, Dr. Haynes served as Chief of the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and later as Chair of the Department of Medicine. As Director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, Bart Haynes is leading a team of investigators working on vaccines for emerging infections, including tuberculosis, pandemic influenza, emerging coronaviruses, and HIV/AIDS.

To work on the AIDS vaccine problem, his group has been awarded two large consortium grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) known as the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI) (2005-2012), and the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology-Immunogen Discovery (CHAVI-ID) (2012-2019) to conduct discovery science to speed HIV vaccine development. In July 2019, his team received the third of NIH “CHAVI” awards to complete the HIV vaccine development work - CHAV-D.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Haynes and the DHVI Team has been working non-stop to develop vaccines, rapid and inexpensive tests and therapeutics to combat the pandemic. Since March 2020, he has served as a member of the NIH Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) committee to advise on COVID-19 vaccine development, and served as the co-chair of the ACTIV subcommittee on vaccine safety. Haynes is the winner of the Alexander Fleming Award from the Infectious Disease Society of America and the Ralph Steinman Award for Human Immunology Research from the American Association of Immunologists. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Inventors and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

About the Haynes Laboratory
The Haynes lab is studying host innate and adaptive immune responses to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis (TB), and influenza in order to find the enabling technology to make preventive vaccines against these three major infectious diseases.

Mucosal Immune Responses in Acute HIV Infection

The Haynes lab is working to determine why broadly neutralizing antibodies are rarely made in acute HIV infection (AHI), currently a major obstacle in the development of an HIV vaccine. The lab has developed a novel approach to define the B cell repertories in AHI in order to find neutralizing antibodies against the virus. This approach uses linear Immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy and light chain gene expression cassettes to express Ig V(H) and V(L) genes isolated from sorted single B cells as IgG1 antibody without a cloning step. This strategy was used to characterize the Ig repertoire of plasma cells/plasmablasts in AHI and to produce recombinant influenza mAbs from sorted single human plasmablasts after influenza vaccination.

The lab is also studying the earliest effect HIV-1 has on B cells. Analyzing blood and gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT) during acute HIV infection, they have found that as early as 17 days after transmission HIV-1 induces B cell class switching and 47 days after transmission, HIV-1 causes considerable damage to GALT germinal centers. They found that in AHI, GALT memory B cells induce polyclonal B cell activation due to the presence of HIV-1-specific, influenza-specific, and autoreactive antibodies. The team concluded from this study that early induction of polyclonal B cell differentiation, along with follicular damage and germinal center loss, may explain why HIV-1 induced antibody responses decline rapidly during acute HIV infection and why plasma antibody responses are delayed.

The lab is also looking at ways of generating long-lived memory B cell responses to HIV infection, another major hurdle in the development of a successful HIV-1 vaccine. The lab has found that in HIV-1 gp120 envelope vaccination and chronic HIV-1 infection, HIV-1 envelope induces predominantly short-lived memory B cell-dependent plasma antibodies.

Immunogen Design

To overcome the high level of genetic diversity in HIV-1 envelope genes, the Haynes lab is developing strategies to induce antibodies that cross-react with multiple strains of HIV. The lab has designed immunogens based on transmitted founder Envs and mosaic consensus Envs in collaboration with Dr. Bette Korber at Los Alamos National Laboratory. These immunogens are designed to induce antibodies that cross-react with a multiple subtype Env glycoproteins. The goal is to determine if cross-reactive mAbs to highly conserved epitopes in HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins can be induced. The team recently characterized a panel of ten mAbs that reacted with varying breadth to subtypes A, B, C, D, F, G, CRF01_AE, and a highly divergent SIVcpzUS Env protein. Two of the mAbs cross-reacted with all tested Env proteins, including SIVcpzUS Env and bound Env proteins with high affinity.

Mucosal Immune Responses in TB and Influenza

The Haynes lab is helping to develop novel approaches to TB vaccine development. The current therapeutic vaccine for TB, called BCG, may prevent complications from TB in children, but offers little protection against infection and disease in adults. The lab is focused on using live attenuated Mycobacterium tuberculosis mutants as vaccine candidates and is currently evaluating this approach in non-human primate studies. As part of the DHVI Influenza program, they are studying the B cell response to influenza in order to generate a “universal” flu vaccine. They are currently trying to express more highly conserved influenza antigens in recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) vectors in order to elicit robust T cell and antibody responses to those antigens.

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