Targeted Immuno-Antiretroviral to Promote Dual Protection against HIV: A Proof-of-Concept Study

Subhra Mandal, Shawnalyn W. Sunagawa, Pavan Kumar Prathipati, Michael Belshan, Annemarie Shibata, Christopher J. Destache

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The C-C motif chemokine receptor-5 (CCR5) expression on the T-cell surface is the prime barrier to HIV/AIDS eradication, as it promotes both active human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)infection and latency; however, antiretrovirals (ARVs) suppress plasma viral loads to non-detectable levels. Keeping this in mind, we strategically designed a targeted ARVs-loaded nanoformulation that targets CCR5 expressing T-cells (e.g., CD4+ cells). Conceptually, CCR5-blocking and targeted ARV delivery would be a dual protection strategy to prevent HIV infection. For targeting CCR5+ Tcells, the nanoformulation was surface conjugated with anti-CCR5 monoclonal antibodies (CCR5 mAb) and loaded with dolutegravir+tenofovir alafenamide (D+T) ARVs to block HIV replication. The result demonstrated that the targeted-ARV nanoparticle’s multimeric CCR5 binding property improved its antigen-binding affinity, prolonged receptor binding, and ARV intracellular retention. Further, nanoformulation demonstrated high binding affinity to CCR5 expressing CD4+ cells, monocytes, and other CCR5+ T-cells. Finally, the short-term pre-exposure prophylaxis study demonstrated that prolonged CCR5 blockage and ARV presence further induced a “protective immune phenotype” with a boosted T-helper (Th), temporary memory (TM), and effector (E) sub-population. The proof-of-concept study that the targeted-ARV nanoformulation dual-action mechanism could provide a multifactorial solution toward achieving HIV “functional cure”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1942
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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