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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Aug 1;307(3):640-6.

CCR5 N-terminus peptides enhance X4 HIV-1 infection by CXCR4 up-regulation.

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Department of Chemical Process Engineering, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy.


The HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120 interacts consecutively with CD4 and CCR5 to mediate the entry of R5-HIV-1 strains into target cells. The N-terminus of CCR5, which contains several sulfated tyrosines, plays a critical role in gp120-CCR5 binding and, consequently, in viral entry. Here, we demonstrate that a tyrosine sulfated peptide, reproducing the entire N-terminal extracellular region of CCR5, its unsulfated analogue, and a point-mutated peptide are unable to inhibit R5-HIV-1 mediated infection, competing with the entire CCR5 in the formation of gp120-CD4-CCR5 complex. Surprisingly, these peptides show the capability of enhancing HIV-1 infection caused by X4 strains through the up-regulation of both CD4 and CXCR4 receptors.

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