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Quantification of the Resilience and Vulnerability of HIV-1 Native Glycan Shield at Atomistic Detail

By Srirupa Chakraborty, Zachary T. Berndsen, Nicolas W. Hengartner, B Korber, Andrew B. Ward, S Gnanakaran

Posted 17 Nov 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/846071

Dense surface glycosylation on the HIV-1 envelope (Env) protein acts as a shield from the adaptive immune system. However, the molecular complexity and flexibility of glycans make experimental studies a challenge. Here we have integrated high-throughput atomistic modeling of fully glycosylated HIV-1 Env with graph theory to capture immunologically important features of the shield topology. This is the first complete all-atom model of HIV-1 Env SOSIP glycan shield that includes both oligomannose and complex glycans, providing results which are physiologically more relevant than the previous models with uniform glycosylation. This integrated approach including quantitative comparison with cryo-electron microscopy data provides hitherto unexplored details of the native shield architecture and its difference from the high-mannose glycoform. We have also derived a measure to quantify the shielding effect over the antigenic protein surface that defines regions of relative vulnerability and resilience of the shield and can be harnessed for rational immunogen design. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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