[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Vpu protein degrades CD4 and counteracts a restriction factor termed tetherin (CD317; Bst-2) to enhance virion release. It has been suggested that both functions can be genetically separated by mutation of a serine residue at position 52. However, recent data suggest that the S52 phosphorylation site is also important for the ability of Vpu to counteract tetherin. To clarify this issue, we performed a comprehensive analysis of HIV-1 with a mutated casein kinase-II phosphorylation site in Vpu in various cell lines, primary blood lymphocytes (PBL), monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) and ex vivo human lymphoid tissue (HLT).
We show that mutation of serine 52 to alanine (S52A) entirely disrupts Vpu-mediated degradation of CD4 and strongly impairs its ability to antagonize tetherin. Furthermore, casein-kinase II inhibitors blocked the ability of Vpu to degrade tetherin. Overall, Vpu S52A could only overcome low levels of tetherin, and its activity decreased in a manner dependent on the amount of transiently or endogenously expressed tetherin. As a consequence, the S52A Vpu mutant virus was unable to replicate in macrophages, which express high levels of this restriction factor. In contrast, HIV-1 Vpu S52A caused CD4+ T-cell depletion and spread efficiently in ex vivo human lymphoid tissue and PBL, most likely because these cells express comparably low levels of tetherin.
Our data explain why the effect of the S52A mutation in Vpu on virus release is cell-type dependent and suggest that a reduced ability of Vpu to counteract tetherin impairs HIV-1 replication in macrophages, but not in tissue CD4+ T cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nef is a multifunctional accessory protein of primate lentiviruses. Recently, it has been shown that the ability of Nef to downmodulate CD4, CD28, and class I major histocompatibility complex is highly conserved between most or all primate lentiviruses, whereas Nef-mediated downregulation of T-cell receptor-CD3 was lost in the lineage that gave rise to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Whether or not other Nef activities are preserved between different groups of primate lentiviruses remained to be determined. Here, we show that nef genes from a large variety of HIVs and simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs) enhance virion infectivity and stimulate viral replication in human cells and/or in ex vivo infected human lymphoid tissue (HLT). Notably, nef alleles from unpassaged SIVcpz and SIVsmm enhanced viral infectivity, replication, and cytopathicity in cell culture and in ex vivo infected HLT as efficiently as those from HIV-1 and HIV-2, their human counterparts. Furthermore, nef genes from several highly divergent SIVs that have not been found in humans were also highly active in human cells and/or tissues. Thus, most primate lentiviral Nefs enhance virion infectivity and stimulate viral replication. Moreover, our data show that SIVcpz and SIVsmm Nefs do not require adaptive changes to perform these functions in human cells or tissues and support the idea that nef alleles from other primate lentiviruses would also be capable of promoting efficient virus spread in humans.
Journal of Virology 01/2008; 81(24):13852-64. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sexual intercourse is the major route of HIV transmission. To identify endogenous factors that affect the efficiency of sexual viral transmission, we screened a complex peptide/protein library derived from human semen. We show that naturally occurring fragments of the abundant semen marker prostatic acidic phosphatase (PAP) form amyloid fibrils. These fibrils, termed Semen-derived Enhancer of Virus Infection (SEVI), capture HIV virions and promote their attachment to target cells, thereby enhancing the infectious virus titer by several orders of magnitude. Physiological concentrations of SEVI amplified HIV infection of T cells, macrophages, ex vivo human tonsillar tissues, and transgenic rats in vivo, as well as trans-HIV infection of T cells by dendritic or epithelial cells. Amyloidogenic PAP fragments are abundant in seminal fluid and boost semen-mediated enhancement of HIV infection. Thus, they may play an important role in sexual transmission of HIV and could represent new targets for its prevention.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interaction of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Nef protein with p21-activated kinase 2 (PAK2) has been proposed to play a role in T-cell activation, viral replication, apoptosis, and progression to AIDS. However, these hypotheses were based on results obtained using Nef mutants impaired in multiple functions. Recently, it was reported that Nef residue F191 is specifically involved in PAK2 binding. However, only a limited number of Nef activities were investigated in these studies. To further evaluate the role of F191 in Nef function and to elucidate the biological relevance of Nef-PAK2 interaction, we performed a comprehensive analysis of HIV-1 Nef mutants carrying F191H and F191R mutations. We found that the F191H mutation reduces and the F191R mutation disrupts the association of Nef with PAK2. Both mutants upregulated the major histocompatibility complex II (MHC-II)-associated invariant chain and downregulated CD4, MHC-I, and CD28, although with reduced efficiency for the latter. Furthermore, the F191H/R changes neither affected the levels of interleukin-2 receptor expression and apoptosis of HIV-1-infected primary T cells nor reduced Nef-mediated induction of NFAT. Unexpectedly, the F191H change markedly reduced and the F191R mutation disrupted the ability of Nef to enhance virion infectivity in P4-CCR5 indicator cells but not in TZM-bl cells or peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Most importantly, all HIV-1 Nef mutants replicated efficiently and caused CD4+ T-cell depletion in ex vivo-infected human lymphoid tissue. Altogether, our data show that the interaction of Nef with PAK2 does not play a major role in T-cell activation, viral replication, and apoptosis.
Journal of Virology 01/2008; 81(23):13005-14. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) fusion inhibitors blocking viral entry by binding the gp41 heptad repeat 1 (HR1) region offer great promise for antiretroviral therapy, and the first of these inhibitors, T20 (Fuzeon; enfuvirtide), is successfully used in the clinic. It has been reported previously that changes in the 3-amino-acid GIV motif at positions 36 to 38 of gp41 HR1 mediate resistance to T20 but usually not to second-version fusion inhibitors, such as T1249, which target an overlapping but distinct region in HR1 including a conserved hydrophobic pocket (HP). Based on the common lack of cross-resistance and the difficulty of selecting T1249-resistant HIV-1 variants, it has been suggested that the determinants of resistance to first- and second-version fusion inhibitors may be different. To further assess HIV-1 resistance to fusion inhibitors and to analyze where changes in HR1 are tolerated, we randomized 16 codons in the HR1 region, including those making contact with HR2 codons and/or encoding residues in the GIV motif and the HP. We found that changes only at positions 37I, 38V, and 40Q near the N terminus of HR1 were tolerated. The propagation of randomly gp41-mutated HIV-1 variants in the presence of T1249 allowed the effective selection of highly resistant forms, all containing changes in the IV residues. Overall, the extent of T1249 resistance was inversely correlated to viral fitness and cytopathicity. Notably, one HIV-1 mutant showing approximately 10-fold-reduced susceptibility to T1249 inhibition replicated with wild type-like kinetics and caused substantial CD4+-T-cell depletion in ex vivo-infected human lymphoid tissue in the presence and absence of an inhibitor. Taken together, our results show that the GIV motif also plays a key role in resistance to second-version fusion inhibitors and suggest that some resistant HIV-1 variants may be pathogenic in vivo.
Journal of Virology 07/2007; 81(12):6563-72. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that mutations of R77A and R80A in the HIV-1 viral protein R (Vpr) impair its proapoptotic activity and that a naturally occurring R77Q variation is associated with non-progressive HIV-1 infection.
To assess the effect of Vpr R77Q, R77A and R80A mutations on the efficiency of CCR5(R5)- and CXCR4(X4)-tropic HIV-1 replication and cytopathicity in human lymphoid tissue (HLT).
Vpr mutants of the X4-tropic HIV-1 NL4-3 clone and an R5-tropic derivative were generated by PCR mutagenesis. Virus stocks established by transfection of 293T cells were used to infect macrophages and ex vivo HLT. HIV-1 replication was assessed by measuring p24 core antigen in the culture supernatants and CD4 T-cell depletion and apoptosis were measured by flow cytometric analysis.
The R5-tropic HIV-1 Vpr mutants replicated with slightly (R77A, R77Q) to moderately (R80A) reduced efficiency in ex vivo-infected HLT and macrophages. In comparison, the changes in Vpr had negligible effects on replication of the X4-tropic forms in lymphatic tissues. Mutation of R77Q and R80A reduced apoptosis of HIV-1-infected cells in ex vivo-infected HLT independently of the viral coreceptor tropism. However, only the R5-tropic HIV-1 Vpr mutants caused markedly less CD4 T-cell depletion than wild-type HIV-1 at the end of ex vivo HLT culture.
The observation that Vpr R77Q reduces the cytopathicity of R5-tropic HIV-1 in lymphoid tissues supports a role in non-progressive HIV-1 infection but the attenuating effects might be dependent on the viral subtype and coreceptor tropism.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The LTRs of all primate lentiviruses contain long U3 regions overlapping the nef gene. To assess the relevance of the modulatory U3 region for HIV-1 replication, we inactivated the T-rich region, the Polypurine tract and attachment (att) sequences in nef by silent mutations and inserted intact cis-regulatory elements just upstream of the core enhancer. These modifications severely truncated the U3 region and eliminated the nef overlap. The resulting HIV-1 mutants expressed functional Nef, replicated efficiently and caused CD4+ T cell depletion in ex vivo-infected lymphoid tissue suggesting that the modulatory U3 region might not be essential for efficient HIV-1 gene expression and AIDS pathogenesis.