HIV-1 p17 binds heparan sulfate proteoglycans to activated CD4(+) T cells.

Institute of Microbiology, University of Brescia Medical School, Brescia, Italy.
Virus Research (Impact Factor: 2.83). 04/2008; 132(1-2):25-32. DOI: 10.1016/j.virusres.2007.10.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We have previously shown that HIV-1 p17 binds to activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells and enhances secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines, but we were unable to define a ligand on activated cells. In this work we evaluate the hypothesis that HIV-1 p17 may be a heparin/heparan sulfate-binding protein. HIV-1 p17 contains C- and N-terminal sequences with positively charged residues and a consensus cluster for heparin binding. We demonstrated by affinity chromatography that HIV-1 p17 binds strongly to heparin-agarose at physiological pH. Soluble heparins and heparan sulfate but not chondroitin 4-sulfate and dextran sulfate inhibit binding of HIV-1 p17 to heparin solid phase and to activated CD4(+) T cells. Furthermore the inhibition of cell sulfatation by chlorate treatment completely counteracts HIV-1 p17 binding to activated cells. These results indicate for the first time that HIV-1 p17 can be ascribed to the heparin binding protein family and suggest that this interaction might play a key role in the ability of the protein to induce an inflammatory effect on activated cells.

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