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J Biol Chem. 2010 Jan 15;285(3):2100-12. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.030619. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

HIV-1 transmission by dendritic cell-specific ICAM-3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN) is regulated by determinants in the carbohydrate recognition domain that are absent in liver/lymph node-SIGN (L-SIGN).

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  • 1HIV Drug Resistance Program, NCI-Frederick, National Institutes of Health, Frederick, Maryland 21702, USA.


In this study, we identify determinants in dendritic cell-specific ICAM-3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN) necessary for human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1), transmission. Although human B cell lines expressing DC-SIGN efficiently capture and transmit HIV-1 to susceptible target cells, cells expressing the related molecule liver/lymph node-specific ICAM-3-grabbing nonintegrin (L-SIGN) do not. To understand the differences between DC-SIGN and L-SIGN that affect HIV-1 interactions, we developed Raji B cell lines expressing different DC-SIGN/L-SIGN chimeras. Testing of the chimeras demonstrated that replacement of the DC-SIGN carbohydrate-recognition domain (CRD) with that of L-SIGN was sufficient to impair virus binding and prevent transmission. Conversely, the ability to bind and transmit HIV-1 was conferred to L-SIGN chimeras containing the DC-SIGN CRD. We identified Trp-258 in the DC-SIGN CRD to be essential for HIV-1 transmission. Although introduction of a K270W mutation at the same position in L-SIGN was insufficient for HIV-1 binding, an L-SIGN mutant molecule with K270W and a C-terminal DC-SIGN CRD subdomain transmitted HIV-1. These data suggest that DC-SIGN structural elements distinct from the oligosaccharide-binding site are required for HIV-1 glycoprotein selectivity.

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