Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Biol Cell. 2006 Aug;17(8):3578-90. Epub 2006 Jun 14.

The Nef protein of human immunodeficiency virus is a broad-spectrum modulator of chemokine receptor cell surface levels that acts independently of classical motifs for receptor endocytosis and Galphai signaling.

Author information

Department of Virology, University of Heidelberg, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Chemokine receptors (CKRs) are important physiological mediators of immune defense, inflammatory responses, and angiogenesis, and they have also been implicated in a number of viral disease processes. Here, we report that the Nef protein of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reduces cell surface levels of eight different members of the CC- and CXC-family of CKRs by up to 92%. This broad-range activity required specific elements in HIV(SF2) Nef, including the proline-rich motif P73P76P79P82 as well as the acidic cluster motif E66E67E68E69, and Nef expression induced a marked perinuclear accumulation of CKRs. Surprisingly, receptor mutagenesis demonstrated that the cytoplasmic tail of CCR5 and CXCR4, which is critical for basal and ligand-mediated endocytosis, was completely dispensable for this Nef activity. In contrast, triple-mutation of the highly conserved DRY motif in the second intracellular CKR loop abolished the Nef-mediated down-regulation of CXCR4 independently of this motif's role in CKR binding to heterotrimeric G proteins and signaling via the Galphai subunit. Thus, we identify the lentiviral pathogenicity factor Nef as a unique and broad-range modulator of CKR cell surface levels. Nef uses a mechanism that is distinct from well-established pathways orchestrating CKR metabolism and offers an interesting tool to study the multifaceted biology of CKRs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center