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To define the target antigens for antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), assays were performed using affinity-purified human immunoglobulin (Ig) or polyclonal rabbit sera directed against specific proteins of HIV, ADCC was not found using affinity-purified anti-core (p25) human Ig or sera obtained from rabbits hyper-immunized with recombinant p25. However, when affinity-purified human Ig or rabbit antisera specific for the envelope glycoproteins, gp120 or gp41, were used in ADCC assays, killing of HIV-infected cells was observed. These results indicate that antibodies in the infected individual that mediate ADCC are directed against both the gp120 and gp41 HIV envelope proteins and not against the viral core protein.

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