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Eur J Immunol. 2003 Feb;33(2):483-93.

Involvement of macrophage mannose receptor in the binding and transmission of HIV by macrophages.

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Department of Pharmacology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA.


The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is an enveloped virus whose surface glycoprotein gp120 binds CD4 on target cell membranes to initiate infection. About half of the carbohydrates on gp120 are terminally mannosylated, a pattern common to many pathogens. We have examined the ability of macrophage mannose receptor (MMR) on primary monocyte-derived macrophages to bind HIV and facilitate its transmission to T cells. We adapted the tyramide signal amplification system for fluorescence detection of HIV bound to macrophages. Our data show that approximately 60% of the initial association of HIV with macrophages that lack expression of DC-SIGN (a dendritic cell-specific ICAM-3 receptor/HIV-1-binding protein) is MMR mediated, as evidenced by inhibition with mannan, D-mannose, EDTA, and soluble mannose-binding lectin, but not by D-galactose. This inhibition is not seen in cells that lack MMR. Macrophages are able to mediate transmission of bound HIV to co-cultured T cells, and this transmission is blocked up to 80% by inhibitors of MMR binding. Unlike virus bound to DC-SIGN, macrophage-bound HIV has a slightly lower half-life compared to free virus, with no transmission in co-culture observed beyond 24 h after virus binding to macrophages. Results obtained with endocytosis inhibitors indicate that this decrease in viral longevity is due to rapid internalization of macrophage-bound HIV. Together, these results suggest a substantial role for MMR in the binding and transmission of HIV-1 by macrophages.

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