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J Immunol. 1987 Apr 15;138(8):2640-4.

HTLV-III large envelope protein (gp120) suppresses PHA-induced lymphocyte blastogenesis.


The addition of inactivated preparations of purified human T cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV-III) was found to inhibit normal human lymphocyte phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-induced blastogenesis but had no effect on concanavalin A (Con A), pokeweek mitogen, or allogeneic stimulation. The inhibition was concentration-dependent and also dependent on adding the virus preparation before or at the same time as PHA. The CD4 molecule is the receptor for HTLV-III binding. Immunopurified large envelope protein (gp120) from HTLV-III was found to bind to the CD4 molecule and also inhibited PHA-induced lymphocyte blastogenesis. These results suggest that the gp120 viral protein may alter immune function by binding to the CD4 molecule, which in turn serves as an "off" signal to lymphocyte response to PHA stimulation. Alternatively, by binding to the CD4 molecule, gp120 may interfere with the interaction of this molecule with class II histocompatibility antigens on accessory cells, thus selectively suppressing PHA response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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