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Immunol Lett. 2001 Nov 1;79(1-2):101-7.

Rhesus macaque and chimpanzee DC-SIGN act as HIV/SIV gp120 trans-receptors, similar to human DC-SIGN.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Vrjie University Medical Centre Amsterdam, v.d. Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Dendritic cells (DC) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of both human and simian immunodeficiency viruses (HIV and SIV, respectively). The DC-specific HIV-1 trans-receptor DC-SIGN is thought to be essential for viral dissemination by DC. Abundant expression in lymphoid tissues also implies a function for DC-SIGN in chronic HIV-1 infections, in facilitating persistent infection of T cells. We have therefore isolated the rhesus macaque and chimpanzee homologues of DC-SIGN to investigate their function in a primate model. Both rhesus macaque and chimpanzee DC-SIGN are highly similar to the human homologue. Three monoclonal antibodies against human DC-SIGN, AZN-D1, -D2 and -D3, cross-react with rhesus macaque DC-SIGN, whereas AZN-D2 does not cross-react with chimpanzee DC-SIGN. The primate homologues are abundantly expressed in lymphoid tissues such as lymph nodes, as well as in mucosal tissues involved in sexual transmission of HIV-1, and are functionally similar to human DC-SIGN. They have a high affinity for the immunological ligands of DC-SIGN: ICAM-2 and -3. Moreover, both homologues bind the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120 and therefore can act as a HIV-1 trans-receptor in the same way as human DC-SIGN. These data demonstrate that primate models are suitable to further dissect the role of DC-SIGN in the transmission and pathogenesis of infection with immunodeficiency viruses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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