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J Biol Chem. 2002 Nov 29;277(48):46079-84. Epub 2002 Sep 26.

HIV Nef inhibits T cell migration.

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Division of Experimental Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Nef is a viral regulatory protein of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that has been shown to contribute to disease progression. Among its putative effects on T cell functions are the down-regulation of CD4 and major histocompatibility class I surface molecules. These effects occur in part via Nef interactions with intracellular signaling molecules. We sought to better characterize the effects of HIV Nef on T cell function by examining chemotaxis in response to stromal cell-derived factor-1alpha (SDF-1alpha) as well as CXCR4 signaling molecules. Here, we report the novel observation that HIV Nef inhibited chemotaxis in response to SDF-1alpha in both Jurkat T cells and primary peripheral CD4+ T lymphocytes. Our data indicate that HIV Nef altered critical downstream molecules in the CXCR4 pathway, including focal adhesion kinases. These findings suggest that HIV Nef may blunt the T cell response to chemokines. Because T lymphocyte migration is an integral component of host defense, HIV Nef may thereby contribute to the pathogenesis of AIDS.

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