Antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity [ADCC] has been suggested to play an important role in control of
Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 [HIV-1] viral load and protection from infection. ADCC antibody responses have been
mapped to multiple linear and conformational epitopes within the HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins gp120 and gp41. Many
epitopes targeted by antibodies that mediate ADCC overlap with those recognized by antibodies capable of virus
neutralization. In addition, recent studies conducted with human monoclonal antibodies derived from HIV-1 infected
individuals and HIV-1 vaccine-candidate vaccinees have identified a number of antibodies that lack the ability to capture
primary HIV-1 isolates or mediate neutralizing activity, but are able to bind to the surface of infected CD4+ T cells and
mediate ADCC. Of note, the conformational changes in the gp120 that may not exclusively relate to binding of the CD4
molecule are important in exposing epitopes recognized by ADCC responses. Here we discuss the HIV-1 envelope
epitopes targeted by ADCC antibodies in the context of the potential protective capacities of ADCC.
Keywords: AIDS vaccines, antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity, epitope, HIV-1, humoral responses, monoclonal antibodies.
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