Send to

Choose Destination
AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1996 Sep 20;12(14):1305-13.

Characterization of CD4-gp120 activation intermediates during human immunodeficiency virus type 1 syncytium formation.

Author information

Department of Toxicology, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406, USA.


The mechanism by which cells expressing HIV envelope glycoproteins progress from binding CD4+ cells to syncytia formation is not entirely understood. The purpose of these investigations was to use physical and biochemical tools (temperature shifts, soluble CD4, protease inhibitors, and a battery of anti-CD4 monoclonal antibodies) to isolate discrete steps during syncytia formation. Previously (Fu et al., J Virol 1993;67:3818), we found that preincubation of cells stably expressing HIV-1 gp 160 (TF228.1.16) with CD4+ SupT1 cells at 16 degrees C, a temperature that is nonpermissive for syncytia formation, resulted in an increased rate of syncytia formation when the cocultures were shifted to the syncytia-permissive temperature of 37 degrees C. We have since found that syncytia formation is further enhanced by shifting the cocultures from 16 to 4 degrees C prior to incubation at 37 degrees C. Together, these data suggest that two discrete states, which we term the first and second activation intermediates (FAI and SAI), are involved in syncytia formation. We have found that acquisition of the FAI (by preincubation at 16 degree C) is sensitive to some serine protease inhibitors (PI), soluble CD4 (sCD4), shedding of gp120, and anti-CD4 monoclonal antibodies (MAb) directed toward the CDR-1/2 and CDR-3 regions of domain 1 on CD4. Expression of the FAI (formation of syncytia by shifting from 16 to 37 degrees C) remains sensitive to sCD4, shedding of gp120, and MAb directed toward CDR-1/2 but is less sensitive to MAb that bind CDR-3 and is insensitive to PI. Similarly, acquisition of the SAI (shifting cocultures from 16 to 4 degrees C), is sensitive to sCD4, shedding of gp120, and MAb directed toward CDR-1/2. In contrast, expression of the SAI (shifting cocultures from 16 to 4 to 37 degrees C) is sensitive only to MAb directed toward CDR-1/2 and cannot be blocked by sCD4, shedding of gp120, or PI. These data allow us to propose that syncytia formation, mediated by HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins, proceeds by a multistep cascade.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center