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J Cell Biol. 2004 Dec 6;167(5):903-13. Epub 2004 Nov 29.

HIV-1 Nef disrupts MHC-I trafficking by recruiting AP-1 to the MHC-I cytoplasmic tail.

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Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


To avoid immune recognition by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 Nef disrupts the transport of major histocompatibility complex class I molecules (MHC-I) to the cell surface in HIV-infected T cells. However, the mechanism by which Nef does this is unknown. We report that Nef disrupts MHC-I trafficking by rerouting newly synthesized MHC-I from the trans-Golgi network (TGN) to lysosomal compartments for degradation. The ability of Nef to target MHC-I from the TGN to lysosomes is dependent on expression of the mu1 subunit of adaptor protein (AP) AP-1A, a cellular protein complex implicated in TGN to endolysosomal pathways. We demonstrate that in HIV-infected primary T cells, Nef promotes a physical interaction between endogenous AP-1 and MHC-I. Moreover, we present data that this interaction uses a novel AP-1 binding site that requires amino acids in the MHC-I cytoplasmic tail. In sum, our evidence suggests that binding of AP-1 to the Nef-MHC-I complex is an important step required for inhibition of antigen presentation by HIV.

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