Natural Killer activating multimeric immunotherapeutic complexes (NaMiX) induce cytotoxic activity and killing of HIV-1 infected cells

Rafaela Schober, Bianca Brandus, Thessa Laeremans, Gilles Iserentant, Géraldine Dessilly, Jacques Zimmer, Michel Moutschen, Joeri L Aerts, Xavier Dervillez, Carole Seguin-Devaux

Research output: Working paperPreprint


HIV-1 persists in viral reservoirs of latently infected CD4+ T cells containing integrated replication-competent viral DNA. Combined Antiretroviral Therapy (cART) does not eradicate HIV-1 reservoirs and treatment interruption will ultimately lead to viral load rebound. HIV-1 infection dramatically reduces the proportion of functional NK cell subsets and increases the expression of the checkpoint inhibitors NKG2A and KIR2DL. In this regard, we developed novel recombinant molecules combining multimers of the IL-15/IL-15Rα complex with the single-chain fragment variables (scFvs) of NKG2A or KIR2DL, and named them as Natural killer activating Multimeric immunotherapeutic compleXes (NaMiX). NaMiX significantly improved the cytotoxic activity of NK cells against HIV-1 positive ACH-2 cells and resistant Raji cancer cells by increasing their degranulation capacity, release of granzyme B, perforin and IFN-γ expression. Targeting the NKG2A receptor had a stronger effect compared to the targeting of the KIR2DL receptor due to its higher expression on NK cells. In a viral inhibition assay using CD4+ T cells from HIV-1 positive patients under cART, NaMiX initially increased viral replication which was subsequently inhibited by stimulated NK cells. In humanized NSG tg-huIL-15 mice showing functional NK cells, we observed enhanced activation, degranulation and killing by NK cells from the spleen of mice treated with anti-NKG2A NaMiX compared to the cells of control mice previously infected with HIV-1 and treated with cART. Although NaMiX did not delay viral load rebound after treatment interruption in a first attempt, it tend to decrease total HIV-1 DNA in the lungs of the mice. Blocking the inhibitory receptor NKG2A in combination with targeted multimers of IL-15 on NK cells could therefore be a promising immunotherapeutic strategy towards HIV-1 functional cure.Competing Interest StatementRS, BB, JZ, XD and CSD are the inventors of the filed patent PCT/EP2022/069311 for NaMiX.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2022

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PublisherCold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

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