Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 V1-to-V5 envelope variants from the chronic phase of infection use CCR5 and fuse more efficiently than those from early after infection.

Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 4.65). 08/2009; 83(19):9694-708. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00925-09
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein modifications over the course of infection have been associated with coreceptor switching and antibody neutralization resistance, but the effect of the changes on replication and host cell receptor usage remains unclear. To examine this question, unique early- and chronic-stage infection envelope V1-to V5 (V1-V5) segments from eight HIV-1 subtype A-infected subjects were incorporated into an isogenic background to construct replication-competent recombinant viruses. In all subjects, viruses with chronic-infection V1-V5 segments showed greater replication capacity than those with early-infection V1-V5 domains in cell lines with high levels of both the CD4 and the CCR5 receptors. Viruses with chronic-infection V1-V5s demonstrated a significantly increased ability to replicate in cells with low CCR5 receptor levels and greater resistance to CCR5 receptor and fusion inhibitors compared to those with early-infection V1-V5 segments. These properties were associated with sequence changes in the envelope V1-V3 segments. Viruses with the envelope segments from the two infection time points showed no significant difference in their ability to infect cells with low CD4 receptor densities, in their sensitivity to soluble CD4, or in their replication capacity in monocyte-derived macrophages. Our results suggest that envelope changes, primarily in the V1-V3 domains, increase both the ability to use the CCR5 receptor and fusion kinetics. Thus, envelope modifications over time within a host potentially enhance replication capacity.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous studies suggest that active selection limits the number of HIV-1 variants acquired by a newly infected individual from the diverse variants circulating in the transmitting partner. We compared HIV-1 envelopes from 9 newly infected subjects and their linked transmitting partner to explore potential mechanisms for selection. Recipient virus envelopes had significant genotypic differences compared to those present in the transmitting partner. Recombinant viruses incorporating pools of recipient and transmitter envelopes showed no significant difference in their sensitivity to receptor and fusion inhibitors, suggesting they had relatively similar entry capacity in the presence of low CD4 and CCR5 levels. Aggregate results in primary cells from up to 4 different blood or skin donors showed that viruses with envelopes from the transmitting partner as compared to recipient envelopes replicated more efficiently in CD4+ T cells, monocyte derived dendritic cell (MDDC) - CD4+ T cell co-cultures, Langerhans cells (LCs) - CD4+ T cell co-cultures and CD4+ T cells expressing high levels of the gut homing receptor, alpha4beta7, and demonstrated greater binding to alpha4beta7 high / CD8+ T cells. These transmitter versus recipient envelope virus phenotypic differences, however, were not always consistent among the primary cells from all the different blood or skin donation volunteers. Although genotypically unique variants are present in newly infected individuals compared to the diverse swarm circulating in the chronically infected transmitting partner, replication in potential early target cells and receptor utilization either do not completely dictate this genetic selection, or these potential transmission phenotypes are lost very soon after HIV-1 acquisition.
    Retrovirology 12/2013; 10(1):162. · 4.77 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BRIEF Heterosexual transmission of HIV-1 typically results in one genetic variant establishing systemic infection. We compared, for 137 linked transmission pairs, the amino acid sequences encoded by non-envelope genes of viruses in both partners and demonstrate a selection bias for transmission of residues that are predicted to confer increased in vivo fitness on viruses in the newly infected, immunologically naïve recipient. Although tempered by transmission risk factors, such as donor viral load, genital inflammation, and recipient gender, this selection bias provides an overall transmission advantage for viral quasispecies that are dominated by viruses with high in vivo fitness. Thus, preventative or therapeutic approaches that even marginally reduce viral fitness may lower the overall transmission rates and offer long-term benefits even upon successful transmission. SUMMARY Introduction Heterosexual HIV-1 transmission is an inefficient process with rates reported at <1% per unprotected sexual exposure. When transmission occurs, systemic infection is typically established by a single genetic variant, taken from the swarm of genetically distinct viruses circulating in the donor. Whether that founder virus represents a chance event or was systematically favored is unclear. Our work has tested a central hypothesis that founder virus selection is biased toward certain genetic characteristics. Rationale If HIV-1 transmission involves selection for viruses with certain favorable characteristics, then such advantages should emerge as statistical biases when viewed across many viral loci in many transmitting partners. We therefore identified 137 Zambian heterosexual transmission pairs, for whom plasma samples were available for both the donor and recipient partner soon after transmission, and compared the viral sequences obtained from each partner to identify features that predicted whether the majority amino acid observed at any particular position in the donor was transmitted. We focused attention on two features: viral genetic characteristics that correlate with viral fitness, and clinical factors that influence transmission. Statistical modeling indicates that the former will be favored for transmission, while the latter will nullify this relative advantage. Results We observed a highly significant selection bias that favors the transmission of amino acids associated with increased fitness. These features included the frequency of the amino acid in the study cohort, the relative advantage of the amino acid with respect to the stability of the protein, and features related to immune escape and compensation. This selection bias was reduced in couples with high risk of transmission. In particular, significantly less selection bias was observed in men with genital inflammation and in women (regardless of inflammation status), compared to healthy men, suggesting a more permissive environment in the female than male genital tract. Consistent with this observation, viruses transmitted to women were characterized by lower predicted fitness than those in men. The presence of amino acids favored during transmission predicted which individual virus within a donor was transmitted to their partner, while chronically infected individuals with viral populations characterized by a predominance of these amino acids were more likely to transmit to their partners. Conclusion These data highlight the clear selection biases that benefit fitter viruses during transmission in the context of a stochastic process. That such biases exist, and are tempered by certain risk factors, suggests that transmission is frequently characterized by many abortive transmission events in which some target cells are nonproductively infected. Moreover, for efficient transmission, some changes that favored survival in the transmitting partner are frequently discarded, resulting in overall slower evolution of HIV-1 in the population. Paradoxically, by increasing the selection bias at the transmission bottleneck, reduction of susceptibility may increase the expected fitness of breakthrough viruses that establish infection and may therefore worsen the prognosis for the newly infected partner. Conversely, preventive or therapeutic approaches that weaken the virus may reduce overall transmission rates via a mechanism that is independent from the quantity of circulating virus, and may therefore provide long-term benefits to the recipient if transmission does occur.
    Science 07/2014; 345. · 31.48 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In infected people, the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) constantly evolves to escape the immune response while retaining the essential elements to mediate viral entry into target cells. The extensive genetic variation of Env is particularly striking in the V1/V2 hypervariable domains. In this study, we investigated the trade off, in terms of fusion efficiency, for encoding V1/V2 domains of different lengths. We found that natural variations in V1/V2 length exert a profound impact on HIV-1 entry. Variants encoding compact V1/V2 domains mediated fusion with higher efficiencies than related Envs encoding longer V1/V2 domains. By exchanging the V1/V2 domains between Envs of the same infected person or between two persons linked by a transmission event, we further demonstrated that V1/V2 domains critically influence both Env incorporation into viral particles and fusion to primary CD4 T cells and MDDCs. Shortening the V1/V2 domains consistently increased Env incorporation and fusion, whereas lengthening the V1/V2 domains decreased Env incorporation and fusion. Given that in a new host, transmitted founder viruses are distinguished by compact Envs with fewer glycosylation sites, our study points to fusion and possibly Env incorporation into virions as limiting steps for transmission of HIV-1 to a new host, and suggests that the length and/or the N-glycosylation profile of the V1/V2 domain influences these early steps in HIV life cycle.
    Journal of Virology 12/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 1, 2014