Send to

Choose Destination
J Virol. 1991 Jun;65(6):3276-83.

Human immunodeficiency virus infection and syncytium formation in HeLa cells expressing glycophospholipid-anchored CD4.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biology, Glaxo Research Institute, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709.


The CD4 molecule, a glycoprotein expressed primarily on the cell surface of specific T lymphocytes, is thought to function in T-cell antigen recognition and activation. In addition, CD4 serves as a receptor for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) by a direct interaction with the HIV-1 surface glycoprotein (gp120). To further characterize the HIV-1-cell interaction, a HeLa cell line was established that expressed a chimeric molecule of CD4 and decay-accelerating factor (DAF). In the chimeric CD4-DAF molecule the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains of CD4 were deleted and replaced with the carboxy-terminal 37 amino acids of DAF. This resulted in the anchoring of the extracellular domain of CD4 to the cell membrane via a glycophospholipid linkage. The glycophospholipid-anchored CD4 had a molecular size of approximately 56 to 62 kDa and was released following treatment of the cells with phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C. HeLa cells expressing the CD4-DAF hybrid could be infected with HIV-1, as evidenced by reverse transcriptase activity, p24 core antigen content, and infectious virus production. In addition, transfection of the HeLa CD4-DAF cells with a plasmid that directs the synthesis of HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins or cocultivation with HeLa cells expressing the virus glycoproteins resulted in syncytium formation. These results indicate that the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains of the CD4 molecule are dispensable for both HIV infection and syncytium formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

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