Impact of Nef-mediated downregulation of major histocompatibility complex class I on immune response to simian immunodeficiency virus.

New England Primate Research Center, One Pine Hill Drive, Box 9102, Southborough, MA 01772-9102, USA.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 4.65). 01/2005; 78(23):13335-44. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.78.23.13335-13344.2004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Functional activities that have been ascribed to the nef gene product of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) include CD4 downregulation, major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I downregulation, downregulation of other plasma membrane proteins, and lymphocyte activation. Monkeys were infected experimentally with SIV containing difficult-to-revert mutations in nef that selectively eliminated MHC downregulation but not these other activities. Monkeys infected with these mutant forms of SIV exhibited higher levels of CD8(+) T-cell responses 4 to 16 weeks postinfection than seen in monkeys infected with the parental wild-type virus. Furthermore, unusual compensatory mutations appeared by 16 to 32 weeks postinfection which restored some or all of the MHC-downregulating activity. These results indicate that nef does serve to limit the virus-specific CD8 cellular response of the host and that the ability to downregulate MHC class I contributes importantly to the totality of nef function.

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    ABSTRACT: The highly genetically diverse HIV-1 group M subtypes may differ in their biological properties. Nef is an important mediator of viral pathogenicity; however, to date, a comprehensive inter-subtype comparison of Nef in vitro function has not been undertaken. Here, we investigate two of Nef's most well-characterized activities, CD4 and HLA class I downregulation, for clones obtained from 360 chronic patients infected with HIV-1 subtypes A, B, C or D. Single HIV-1 plasma RNA Nef clones were obtained from N=360 antiretroviral-naive, chronically infected patients from Africa and North America: 96 (subtype A), 93 (B), 85 (C), and 86 (D). Nef clones were expressed by transfection in an immortalized CD4+ T-cell line. CD4 and HLA class I surface levels were assessed by flow cytometry. Nef expression was verified by Western blot. Subset analyses and multivariable linear regression were used to adjust for differences in age, sex and clinical parameters between cohorts. Consensus HIV-1 subtype B and C Nef sequences were synthesized and functionally assessed. Exploratory sequence analyses were performed to identify potential genotypic correlates of Nef function. Subtype B Nef clones displayed marginally greater CD4 downregulation activity (p = 0.03) and markedly greater HLA class I downregulation activity (p < 0.0001) than clones from other subtypes. Subtype C Nefs displayed the lowest in vitro functionality. Inter-subtype differences in HLA class I downregulation remained statistically significant after controlling for differences in age, sex, and clinical parameters (p < 0.0001). The synthesized consensus subtype B Nef showed higher activities compared to consensus C Nef, which was most pronounced in cells expressing lower protein levels. Nef clones exhibited substantial inter-subtype diversity: cohort consensus residues differed at 25% of codons, while a similar proportion of codons exhibited substantial inter-subtype differences in major variant frequency. These amino acids, along with others identified in intra-subtype analyses, represent candidates for mediating inter-subtype differences in Nef function. Results support a functional hierarchy of subtype B > A/D > C for Nef-mediated CD4 and HLA class I downregulation. The mechanisms underlying these differences and their relevance to HIV-1 pathogenicity merit further investigation.
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    Virology 11/2014; s 468–470:214–225. DOI:10.1016/j.virol.2014.08.009 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(9):e75620. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0075620 · 3.53 Impact Factor


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