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Blood. 2012 Aug 9;120(6):1246-53. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-12-399063. Epub 2012 Jul 2.

Ectopic ATP synthase facilitates transfer of HIV-1 from antigen-presenting cells to CD4(+) target cells.

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Membrane Structure and Function Section, Nanobiology Program, Center for Cancer Research, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Antigen-presenting cells (APCs) act as vehicles that transfer HIV to their target CD4(+) cells through an intercellular junction, termed the virologic synapse. The molecules that are involved in this process remain largely unidentified. In this study, we used photoaffinity labeling and a proteomic approach to identify new proteins that facilitate HIV-1 transfer. We identified ectopic mitochondrial ATP synthase as a factor that mediates HIV-1 transfer between APCs and CD4(+) target cells. Monoclonal antibodies against the β-subunit of ATP synthase inhibited APC-mediated transfer of multiple strains HIV-1 to CD4(+) target cells. Likewise, the specific inhibitors of ATPase, citreoviridin and IF1, completely blocked APC-mediated transfer of HIV-1 at the APC-target cell interaction step. Confocal fluorescent microscopy showed localization of extracellular ATP synthase at junctions between APC and CD4(+) target cells. We conclude that ectopic ATP synthase could be an accessible molecular target for inhibiting HIV-1 proliferation in vivo.

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