Antibodies against HIV-1 proteins in HIV-1-infected individuals share a cross-reactive idiotype defined by the monoclonal antiidiotypic antibody 1F7 (5). Using a computer algorithm based on the molecular recognition theory, regions of inverse hydropathy between the variable sequence of 1F7 and human monoclonal anti-HIV-1 antibodies were identified, which are assumed to be involved in idiotype-antiidiotype contacts. A peptide was designed from the proposed contact in the variable heavy chain framework 3-complementarity determining region 3 (FR3-CDR3) of human antibodies and was synthesized. This peptide is recognized by the antiidiotype 1F7 and inhibits the binding of 1F7 to human anti-HIV-1 antibodies which express the 1F7 idiotype. A survey of normal and HIV-1-infected sera revealed the presence of antibodies in infected sera which bind to the FR3-CDR3 peptide. The biological relevance of autoantibodies against a self idiotope associated with HIV-1 infection is discussed in the context of the regulation of the antibody response to HIV-1.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, v. 96, no. 2.

© The American Society for Clinical Investigation, Inc.

The copyright holder has granted the permission for posting the article here.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

The work was supported by NIH grants NS 29719 to J. Edwin Blalock and CA 56701 to Heinz Kohler and American Foundation for AIDS Research grant number 500281-14-PG to Sybille Muller.