Commentary | Published:

A “complement–ary” AIDS vaccine

Nature Medicinevolume 2pages153155 (1996) | Download Citation


The human immunodeficiency virus uses the human complement system to its advantage. Is it possible to turn the tables with a vaccine?

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Atkinson, J.P., Odlesby, T.J., White, D.J.G., Adams, E.A. & Liszewski, M.K. Separation of self from non-self in the complement system. A role for membrane cofactor protein and decay accelerating factor. Clin. Exp. Immun. 86, 27–30 (1991).

  2. 2

    Bach, F.H. et al. Barriers to xenotransplantation. Nature Med. 1, 869–873 (1995).

  3. 3

    Cozzi, E. & White, D.J.G. The generation of transgenic pigs as potential organ donors for humans. Nature Med. 1, 964–966 (1995).

  4. 4

    Dierich, M.P. et al. HIV and human complement: Mechanisms of interaction and biological implications. Immunol. Today 14, 435–440 (1993).

  5. 5

    Stoiber, H., Pinter, C., Siccardi, A.G., Clivio, A. & Dierich, M.P. Efficient destruction of HIV in human serum by inhibiting the protective action of complement factor H and decay accelerating factor (DAF, CD55). J. Exp. Med. (in the press).

  6. 6

    Marschang, P., Sodroski, J., Würzner, R. & Dierich, M.P. Decay-accelerating factor (CD55) protects human immunodeficiency virus type 1 from inactivation by human complement. Eur. J. Immunol. 25, 285–290 (1995).

  7. 7

    Saifuddin, M. et al. Role of virion-associated glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked proteins CD55 and CD59 in complement resistance of cell-line derived and primary isolates of HIV 1. J. Exp. Med. 182, 501–509 (1995).

  8. 8

    Gelderblom, H.R. Assembly and morphology of HIV: Potential effect of structure on viral function. AIDS 5, 617–637 (1991).

  9. 9

    Arthur, L.O. et al. Cellular proteins bound to immunodeficiency viruses: implication for pathogenesis and vaccines. Science 258, 1935–1938 (1992).

  10. 10

    Orentas, R.J. & Hildreth, J.E.K. Association of host cell surface adhesion receptors and other membrane proteins with HIV and SIV. AIDS Res. Hum. Retrovir. 9, 1157–1165 (1993).

  11. 11

    Morgan, B.P. & Meri, S. Membrane proteins that protect against complement lysis. Immuno-pathology 15, 369–396 (1994).

  12. 12

    Ebenbichler, C., Thielens, N., Arlaud, G. & Dierich, M.P. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 activates the classical pathway of complement by direct C1 binding through specific sites in the transmembrane glycoprotein gp41. J. Exp. Med. 174, 944–952 (1991).

  13. 13

    Stoiber, H., Thielens, N., Ebenbichler, C., Arlaud, G. & Dierich, M.P. The envelope glycoprotein of HIV-1 gp120 and the human complement protein Clq bind to the same peptides derived from three different regions of gp41, the transmembrane glycoprotein of HIV-1, and share antigenetic homology. Eur. J. Immunol. 24, 294–300 (1994).

  14. 14

    Sölder, B.M. et al. Complement receptors: Another port of entry for HIV. Lancet ii, 271–272 (1989).

  15. 15

    Reisinger, E. et al. Complement-mediated enhancement of HIV-1 infection of the monoblastoid cell line U937. AIDS 4, 961–965 (1989).

  16. 16

    Tremblay, M.S., Meloche, S., Sekaly, R.P. & Wainberg, M.A.J. Complement receptor 2 mediates enhancement of human immunodeficiency virus 1 infection in Epstein-Barr virus carrying B cells. Exp. Med. 171, 1791–1796 (1990).

  17. 17

    Boyer, V., Desgranges, C., Trabaud, M.A., Fischer, E. & Kazatchkine, M.D. Complement mediates human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection of a human T cell line in a CD4-and antibody-independent fashion. J. Exp. Med. 173, 1151–1158 (1991).

  18. 18

    Robinson, E.W., Montefiori, D.C. & Mitchell, W.M. Complement-mediated antibody-dependent enhancement of HIV-1 infection requires CD4 and complement receptors. Virology 175, 600–604 (1990).

  19. 19

    Joling, P. et al. Binding of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 to follicular dendritic cells in vitro is complement dependent. J. Immunol. 150, 1065–1073 (1993).

  20. 20

    Pintér, C., Siccardi, A.G., Longhi, R. & Clivio, A. Direct interaction of complement factor H with the C1 domain of HIV-1 gp120. AIDS Res. Hum. Retrovir. 11, 577–588 (1995).

  21. 21

    Stoiber, H., Ebenbichler, C., Schneider, R., Janatova, J. & Dierich, M.P. Interaction of several complement proteins with gp120 and gp41, the two envelope glycoproteins of HIV-1. AIDS 9, 19–26 (1995).

  22. 22

    Pintér, C., Siccardi, A.G., Lopalco, L., Longhi, R. & Clivio, A. HIV gp41 and complement factor H interact with each other and share functional as well as antigenic homology. AIDS Res. Hum. Retrovir. 11, 971–980 (1995).

  23. 23

    Stoiber, H., Schneider, R., Janatova, J. & Dierich, M.P. Human complement proteins C3b, C4b, factor H and properdin react with specific sites in gp120 and gp41, the envelope proteins of HIV-1. Immunobiology 193, 98–113 (1995).

  24. 24

    Morgan, B.P. & Walport, M.J. Complement deficiency and diseases. Immunol. Today 12, 301–306 (1991).

  25. 25

    Kinoshita, T. Biology of complement: The overture. Immunol. Today 12, 291–295 (1991).

  26. 26

    Bhakdi, S. & Tranum-Jensen, J. Complement lysis: A hole is a hole. Immunol. Today 12, 318–320 (1991).

Download references

Author information


  1. Institut für Hygiene and Ludwig, Boltzmann-Institut für AIDS-Forschung, Innsbruck, Austria

    • Manfred P. Dierich
    •  & Heribert Stoiber
  2. Laboratorio Interdisciplinare Tecnologie Avanzate, Universit egli Studi di Milano, Italy

    • Alberto Clivio


  1. Search for Manfred P. Dierich in:

  2. Search for Heribert Stoiber in:

  3. Search for Alberto Clivio in:

About this article

Publication history

Issue Date


Further reading