Design of soluble envelope proteins with enhanced trimer stability

Funding: International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (Innovation Grant)
Duration: 1.2.2012 – 31.12.2013

The main objective of this project is the identification and selection of HIV envelope variants with high trimer stability and enhanced binding affinity of bNMABs such as PG9 and PG16. Therefore, in vitro display technologies developed in our group will be used to screen DNA libraries encoding HIV envelope protein variants. Selected candidates will be cloned in mammalian expression vectors and used  in a transient expression system. Recombinant Envelope proteins will be provided to cooperation partners for biophysical characterization including analysis of PG9, PG16, b12 and CD4 binding by SPR and stability measurements using the thermofluor assay or circular dichroism. Selected candidates that show higher stability than wild type and better binding to mAbs PG9 and /or PG16, b12 and CD4 will be selected for scale up production and subsequent immunization studies.