The simian-human immunodeficiency virus SHIV-HXBc2 contains the envelope glycoproteins of a laboratory-adapted, neutralization-sensitive human immunodeficiency virus type 1 variant, HXBc2. Serial in vivo passage of the nonpathogenic SHIV-HXBc2 generated SHIV KU-1, which causes rapid CD4+ T-cell depletion and an AIDS-like illness in monkeys. A molecularly cloned pathogenic SHIV, SHIV-HXBc2P 3.2, was derived from the SHIV KU-1 isolate and differs from the parental SHIV-HXBc2 by only 12 envelope glycoprotein amino acid residues. Relative to SHIV-HXBc2, SHIV-HXBc2P 3.2 was resistant to neutralization by all of the antibodies tested with the exception of the 2G12 antibody. The sequence changes responsible for neutralization resistance were located in variable regions of the gp120 exterior envelope glycoprotein and in the gp41 transmembrane envelope glycoprotein. The 2G12 antibody, which neutralized SHIV-HXBc2 and SHIV-HXBc2P 3.2 equally, bound the HXBc2 and HXBc2P 3.2 envelope glycoproteins on the cell surface comparably. The ability of the other tested antibodies to achieve saturation was less for the HXBc2P 3.2 envelope glycoproteins than for the HXBc2 envelope glycoproteins, even though the affinity of the antibodies for the two envelope glycoproteins was similar. Thus, a highly neutralization-sensitive SHIV, by modifying both gp120 and gp41 glycoproteins, apparently achieves a neutralization-resistant state by decreasing the saturability of its envelope glycoproteins by antibodies
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