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J Virol. 2011 Mar;85(5):2397-405. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02187-10. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

A conserved determinant in the V1 loop of HIV-1 modulates the V3 loop to prime low CD4 use and macrophage infection.

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  • 1University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.

Abstract

The CD4 binding site (CD4bs) on the HIV-1 envelope plays a major role in determining the capacity of R5 viruses to infect primary macrophages. Thus, envelope determinants within or proximal to the CD4bs have been shown to control the use of low CD4 levels on macrophages for infection. These residues affect the affinity for CD4 either directly or indirectly by altering the exposure of CD4 contact residues. Here, we describe a single amino acid determinant in the V1 loop that also modulates macrophage tropism. Thus, we identified an E153G substitution that conferred high levels of macrophage infectivity for several heterologous R5 envelopes, while the reciprocal G153E substitution abrogated infection. Shifts in macrophage tropism were associated with dramatic shifts in sensitivity to the V3 loop monoclonal antibody (MAb), 447-52D and soluble CD4, as well as more modest changes in sensitivity to the CD4bs MAb, b12. These observations are consistent with an altered conformation or exposure of the V3 loop that enables the envelope to use low CD4 levels for infection. The modest shifts in b12 sensitivity suggest that residue 153 impacts on the exposure of the CD4bs. However, the more intense shifts in sCD4 sensitivity suggest additional mechanisms that likely include an increased ability of the envelope to undergo conformational changes following binding to suboptimal levels of cell surface CD4. In summary, we show that a conserved determinant in the V1 loop modulates the V3 loop to prime low CD4 use and macrophage infection.

PMID:
21159865
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3067776
Free PMC Article
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