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Virology. 1995 Jun 1;209(2):696-700.

Cell-to-cell fusion, but not virus entry in macrophages by T-cell line tropic HIV-1 strains: a V3 loop-determined restriction.

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Virology Laboratory, Chester Beatty Laboratories, Institute of Cancer Research, London.


T-cell lines chronically infected with laboratory adapted, T-cell tropic HIV-1 strains (RF, LAI, CBL-4, and NY5) induced syncytia after cocultivation with primary macrophages. Such fusion-competent strains, however, replicated inefficiently after cell-free infection of macrophage cultures. Evidence based on proviral DNA synthesis, pseudotype penetration, and a V3 loop mutation revealed that cell-free infection was restricted at a prepenetration stage in entry and controlled by envelope sequences. Our results suggest that primary macrophages are sensitive to cell-to-cell but not to virion-to-cell fusion induced by the envelope glycoproteins of several T-cell tropic HIV-1 strains.

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