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Virology. 2006 Jul 20;351(1):226-36. Epub 2006 Apr 21.

Functional impact of HIV coreceptor-binding site mutations.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania, 225 Johnson Pavilion, 3610 Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The bridging sheet region of the gp120 subunit of the HIV-1 Env protein interacts with the major virus coreceptors, CCR5 and CXCR4. We examined the impact of mutations in and adjacent to the bridging sheet region of an X4 tropic HIV-1 on membrane fusion and entry inhibitor susceptibility. When the V3-loop of this Env was changed so that CCR5 was used, the effects of these same mutations on CCR5 use were assayed as well. We found that coreceptor-binding site mutations had greater effects on CXCR4-mediated fusion and infection than when CCR5 was used as a coreceptor, perhaps related to differences in coreceptor affinity. The mutations also reduced use of the alternative coreceptors CCR3 and CCR8 to varying degrees, indicating that the bridging sheet region is important for the efficient utilization of both major and minor HIV coreceptors. As seen before with a primary R5 virus strain, bridging sheet mutations increased susceptibility to the CCR5 inhibitor TAK-779, which correlated with CCR5 binding efficiency. Bridging sheet mutations also conferred increased susceptibility to the CXCR4 ligand AMD-3100 in the context of the X4 tropic Env. However, these mutations had little effect on the rate of membrane fusion and little effect on susceptibility to enfuvirtide, a membrane fusion inhibitor whose activity is dependent in part on the rate of Env-mediated membrane fusion. Thus, mutations that reduce coreceptor binding and enhance susceptibility to coreceptor inhibitors can affect fusion and enfuvirtide susceptibility in an Env context-dependent manner.

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