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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2004 Feb;20(2):163-73.

Envelope glycoprotein determinants of increased entry in a pathogenic simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV-HXBc2P 3.2) passaged in monkeys.

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  • 1Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Pathology, Division of AIDS, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Passage of a nonpathogenic simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV-HXBc2) in monkeys resulted in changes in the viral envelope glycoproteins that are responsible for a dramatic increase in replication and pathogenicity in vivo. Here, we show that the envelope glycoproteins of the pathogenic SHIV-HXBc2P 3.2 mediate virus entry into rhesus monkey peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) more efficiently than the parental SHIV-HXBc2 envelope glycoproteins, and study the basis for this increase. Both parental and pathogenic SHIVs exclusively use CXCR4 as a coreceptor. The determinants of the increased entry associated with the SHIV-HXBc2P 3.2 envelope glycoproteins are located in both the gp120 and gp41 subunits. Changes in the gp120 V3 variable loop specify a decreased sensitivity to SDF-1, consistent with an increase in the affinity of the HXBc2P 3.2 gp120 glycoprotein for CXCR4. Thus, multiple changes in the gp120 variable loops and the gp41 ectodomain of a pathogenic SHIV cooperate to allow enhanced replicative capacity, which in part results from increased chemokine receptor binding.

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