HIV-1 viremic controllers (VC) spontaneously control infection without antiretroviral treatment. Several studies indicate that IgG Abs from VCs induce enhanced responses from immune effector cells. Since signaling through Fc-γ receptors (FCGRs) modulate these Ab-driven responses, here we examine if enhanced FCGR activation is a common feature of IgG from VCs. Using an infected cell–based system, we observed that VC IgG stimulated greater FCGR2A and FCGR3A activation as compared with noncontrollers, independent of the magnitude of HIV-specific Ab binding or virus neutralization activities. Multivariate regression analysis showed that enhanced FCGR signaling was a significant predictor of VC status as compared with chronically infected patients (CIP) on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of patient IgG functions primarily grouped VC IgG profiles by enhanced FCGR2A, FCGR3A, or dual signaling activity. Our findings demonstrate that enhanced FCGR signaling is a common and significant predictive feature of VC IgG, with VCs displaying a distinct spectrum of FCGR activation profiles. Thus, profiling FCGR activation may provide a useful method for screening and distinguishing protective anti-HIV IgG responses in HIV-infected patients and in monitoring HIV vaccination regimens.
Raymond A. Alvarez, Ana M. Maestre, Kenneth Law, Natasha D. Durham, Maria Ines Barria, Akiko Ishii-Watabe, Minoru Tada, Manav Kapoor, Mathew T. Hotta, Gabriela Rodriguez-Caprio, Daniel S. Fierer, Ana Fernandez-Sesma, Viviana Simon, Benjamin K. Chen
Clinical characteristics of the study cohort