Patients with AIDS are known to have B-cell hyperactivity. We have previously demonstrated that an extract of HIV-1 could induce differentiation of peripheral blood B lymphocytes of healthy volunteers into immunoglobulin-secreting cells. In an attempt to delineate the B-cell stimulatory subregion in HIV-1, we have investigated the influences of native glycoproteins and recombinant proteins of the envelope. The complete envelope glycoprotein, gp160 and a recombinant protein in the carboxyl terminal region of gp41 termed PE-8 were effective in inducing terminal differentiation of normal peripheral blood B lymphocytes and did so in a T-lymphocyte-dependent manner. The activity was not present in the native exterior envelope glycoprotein, gp120 and several other recombinant proteins, viz PE-2 an PE-3, which are in the amino terminal region of gp120 or in env-9, a protein in the junctional region of gp120 and gp41. Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies directed to diverse regions of the envelope abrogated the influence of gp160. The PE-8-induced B-cell differentiation was abrogated by goat anti-gp160 antibody but not by goat anti-gp120 antibody or monoclonal antibody to the amino terminal of gp41. These studies suggest that a putative polyclonal B-cell stimulatory epitope of HIV-1 is located in the carboxyl end of the envelope glycoprotein.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases