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Eur J Immunol. 1992 Nov;22(11):2973-81.

Cloning and sequences of primate CD4 molecules: diversity of the cellular receptor for simian immunodeficiency virus/human immunodeficiency virus.

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Department of Microbiology, Georgetown University, Rockville.


To study the interaction between the primate lentiviruses simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the CD4 receptor we have cloned and sequenced the CD4 molecule from six non-human primate species: African green monkeys (three subspecies: sabeus, pytherethrus, aethiops), sooty mangabeys, patas monkeys, chimpanzees, rhesus macaques, and pig-tail macaques. Molecular cDNA clones representing CD4 mRNA were generated from total RNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification including reverse transcriptase in initial reactions followed by two rounds of nested amplifications. Primer sequences were selected from regions conserved among human and rodent CD4 genes. Alignments of deduced amino acid sequences revealed interesting findings. First, all of the primate CD4 molecules were about 90% identical to the human CD4 sequence except the chimpanzee (98%). Second, two macaques or two African green monkey subspecies were as distanly related as the human versus chimpanzee sequences. Third, relatedness of CD4 sequences could not be predicted on the basis of geographic origin (Asian vs. African). Finally, upon sequencing several clones from individual monkeys, a low degree of sequence variation (nucleotide substitutions, deletions, and insertions) was found within the same animal, and in case of sooty mangabeys two distict populations of CD4 molecules were present within three of four individuals. The distinguishing features involved eight amino acid changes, including a single lysine deletion relative to a primate consensus sequence in the first complementary-determing region of V1J1. These two CD4 populations were present also at the genomic DNA level and may arrive from the two chromosomal alleles, suggesting the existence of distinct sooty mangabey subspecies. Overall, the V1J1 and to a lesser extent V2J2 were the most variable regions among the sequences examined. By construction and expression in mammalian cell lines of CD4 chimeras in which these regions of the human CD4 were replaced by those of the African green monkey and pig-tail macaques, a higher molecular mass of the CD4 chimeras were obtained in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis suggesting that the additional N-linked glycosylation sites present in these monkey CD4 are also used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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