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J Immunol. 1999 May 1;162(9):5417-22.

Down-regulation of CXCR4 by human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and HHV-7.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Ehime University School of Medicine, Japan.


Recent studies have demonstrated that human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and HHV-7 interact with HIV-1 and alter the expression of various surface molecules and functions of T lymphocytes. The present study was undertaken to clarify whether coreceptors for HIV-1, CXCR4 and CCR5, are necessary for HHV-6 and HHV-7 infection. Although CXCR4 and CCR5 appeared not to be the coreceptors for these viruses, marked down-regulation of CXCR4, but not CCR5, was detected in HHV-6 variant A (HHV-6A)-, HHV-6 variant B (HHV-6B)-, and HHV-7-infected cells. Down-regulation of CXCR4 resulted in impairment of chemotaxis and a decreased level of elevation of the intracellular Ca2+ concentration in response to stromal cell-derived factor-1. Northern blot analysis of mRNAs extracted from HHV-6A-, HHV-6B-, and HHV-7-infected CD4+ T lymphocytes demonstrated a markedly decreased level of CXCR4 gene transcription, but the posttranscriptional stability of CXCR4 mRNA was not significantly altered. These data demonstrate that unlike HIV-1, HHV-6 and HHV-7 infections do not require expression of CXCR4 or CCR5, whereas marked down-regulation of CXCR4 is induced by these viruses, suggesting that HHV-6 and HHV-7 infections may render CD4+ T lymphocytes resistant to T lymphocyte-tropic HIV-1 infection.

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