The broadly neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) 2F5 and 4E10, both targeting the highly conserved human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope membrane proximal external region (MPER), are among the MAbs with the broadest heterologous neutralizing activity and are of considerable interest for HIV-1 vaccine development. We have identified serum antibodies from an HIV-infected subject that both were broadly neutralizing and specifically targeted MPER epitopes that overlap the 2F5 epitope. These MPER-specific antibodies were made 15 to 20 months following transmission and concomitantly with the development of autoantibodies. Our findings suggest that multiple events (i.e., genetic predisposition and HIV-1 immune dysregulation) may be required for induction of broadly reactive gp41 MPER antibodies in natural infection
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