Chemically Modified Peptides Based on the Membrane-Proximal External Region of the HIV-1 Envelope Induce High-Titer, Epitope-Specific Nonneutralizing Antibodies in Rabbits. Broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bNAbs) 2F5 and 4E10 bind to the membrane proximal external region (MPER) of gp41 and also cross-react with phospholipids. In this study, we investigated if chemical modifications on the MPER adjacent to 2F5 and 4E10 epitopes using mimetics of inflammation-associated posttranslational modifications to induce 2F5- and 4E10-like bNAbs can break tolerance. We synthesized a series of chemically modified peptides spanning the MPER.
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