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J Virol. 2009 Jul;83(14):7117-28. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01648-08. Epub 2009 May 13.

Nef-induced CD4 endocytosis in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 host cells: role of p56lck kinase.

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  • 1Institut Cochin, CNRS UMR 8104, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France.


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Nef interferes with the endocytic machinery to modulate the cell surface expression of CD4. However, the basal trafficking of CD4 is governed by different rules in the target cells of HIV-1: whereas CD4 is rapidly internalized from the cell surface in myeloid cells, CD4 is stabilized at the plasma membrane through its interaction with the p56(lck) kinase in lymphoid cells. In this study, we showed that Nef was able to downregulate CD4 in both lymphoid and myeloid cell lines but that an increase in the internalization rate of CD4 could be observed only in lymphoid cells. Expression of p56(lck) in nonlymphoid CD4-expressing cells restores the ability of Nef in order to increase the internalization rate of CD4. Concurrent with this observation, the expression of a p56(lck)-binding-deficient mutant of CD4 in lymphoid cells abrogates the Nef-induced acceleration of CD4 internalization. We also show that the expression of Nef causes a decrease in the association of p56(lck) with cell surface-expressed CD4. Regardless of the presence of p56(lck), the downregulation of CD4 by Nef was followed by CD4 degradation. Our results imply that Nef uses distinct mechanisms to downregulate the cell surface expression levels of CD4 in either lymphoid or myeloid target cells of HIV-1.

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