Student Author(s)

Yuxin Chen

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Immunology and Infectious Disease | Virology


The rabbit is a commonly used animal model in studying antibody responses in HIV/AIDS vaccine development. However, no rabbit monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) have been developed previously to study the epitope-specific antibody responses against HIV-1 envelope (Env) glycoproteins, and little is known about how the rabbit immune system can mimic the human immune system in eliciting such antibodies. Here we present structural analyses of two rabbit MAbs, R56 and R20, against the third variable region (V3) of HIV-1 gp120. R56 recognizes the well-studied immunogenic region in the V3 crown, while R20 targets a less-studied region at the C terminus of V3. By comparison of the Fab/epitope complex structures of these two antibodies raised by immunization with that of the corresponding human antibodies derived from patients chronically infected with HIV-1, we found that rabbit antibodies can recognize immunogenic regions of gp120 and mimic the binding modes of human antibodies. This result can provide new insight into the use of the rabbit as an animal model in AIDS vaccine development.

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DOI of Published Version



J Virol. 2013 Sep;87(18):10221-31. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00843-13. Epub 2013 Jul 17. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of virology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID