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Monoclonal antibody SF8/5E11, which recognizes the transmembrane protein (TMP) of simian immunodeficiency virus of macaque monkeys (SIVmac), displayed strict strain specificity. It reacted with cloned and uncloned SIVmac251 but not with cloned SIVmac142 and SIVmac239 on immunoblots. This monoclonal antibody neutralized infection by cloned, cell-free SIVmac251 and inhibited formation of syncytia by cloned SIVmac251-infected cells; these activities were specific to cloned SIVmac251 and did not occur with the other viruses. Site-specific mutagenesis was used to show that TMP amino acids 106 to 110 (Asp-Trp-Asn-Asn-Asp) determined the strain specificity of the monoclonal antibody. This strain-specific neutralizing determinant is located within a variable region of SIVmac and human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) which includes conserved, clustered sites for N-linked glycosylation. The determinant corresponds exactly to a variable, weak neutralizing epitope in HIV-1 TMP which also includes conserved, clustered sites for N-linked glycosylation. Thus, the location of at least one neutralizing epitope appears to be common to both SIVmac and HIV-1. Our results suggest a role for this determinant in the viral entry process. Genetic variation was observed in this neutralizing determinant following infection of a rhesus monkey with molecularly cloned SIVmac239; variant forms of the strain-specific, neutralizing determinant accumulated during persistent infection in vivo. Selective pressure from the host immune response in vivo may result in sequence variation in this neutralizing determinant.


Copyright © American Society for Microbiology, Journal of Virology, 65, 1991, 2010-2018