The polivoirus/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) chimera S1/env/3 presents the sequence DRPEGIEEE-GGERDRDRS, a known glycoprotein gp41 neutralizing domain (residues 735 to 752) of HIV IIIB in an antigenic site of the Sabin type 1 strain of poliovirus. Of 10 monoclonal antibodies raised against the sequence as presented in S1/env/3, eight were shown to neutralize HIV IIIB whereas all 10 neutralized S1/env/3, suggesting that the presentation of the sequence is comparable between HIV and the poliovirus/HIV chimera. The monoclonal antibodies were characterized by the selection of escape mutants from S1/env/3 and by Pepscan analysis. The two methods gave similar results, identifying two epitopes involving amino acids corresponding to residues 740 to 743, and to residues 745 to 750 of gp41. Mutations selected in the chimera with S1/env/3-specific MAbs are identical or similar to changes occurring in natural isolates of HIV-1. This finding suggests that the epitope may be significant in the neutralization of HIV .


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