HIV-1 gp120 and immune network
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It has been demonstrated that the immunodominant V3 loop of HIV-1 gp120 and its flanking regions bear sequence and structural homology to the framework and complementarity-determining regions of human immunoglobulins. It has been proposed that the Ig-like domain of gp120 might encode idiotypes and in this way permit HIV-1 entry into the immune regulatory network. This notion is strongly supported by results demonstrating that the anti-V3 loop and anti-Ig antibodies of healthy individuals share complementary structure and that V3 reactive antibodies are present in HIV-negative sera. This might be the mechanism by which HIV induces immunological abnormalities, and it should be taken into consideration in AIDS vaccine development.