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Microbiol Immunol. 1996;40(11):827-35.

Role of cell surface glycosaminoglycans of human T cells in human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) infection.

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Department of Microbiology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University School of Medicine, Japan.


To investigate the role of cell surface glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), including heparan sulfate (HS), on HIV-1 infection in human T cells, HIV-1 binding and infection were determined after treatment of T-cell lines and CD4+ T cells from normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) with GAG-degrading enzyme or a GAG metabolic sulfation inhibitor. Heparitinase I (hep I) and sodium chlorate prevented binding of HIV-1/IIIB to MT-4 cells as revealed by indirect immunofluorescence procedures, thereby inhibiting infection. Hep I was less effective in the binding inhibition of the macrophage-tropic strain HIV-1/SF162 than that of the T-cell line-tropic strain HIV-1/IIIB. The binding of HIV-1/SF162 was about 100-fold less dependent on cell surface HS than HIV-1/IIIB. Human HTLV-I positive T-cell lines expressed more HS than HTLV-I negative T-cell lines or normal CD4+ T cells when stained with anti-HS mAbs against either native or heparitinase-treated HS. With the exception of endo-beta-galactosidase (endo-beta-gal), GAG-degrading enzymes, including hep I, chondroitinase ABC (chon ABC), chondroitinase AC II (chon AC II) and keratanase, did not prevent the binding of HIV-1/IIIB to CD4+ T cells from normal PBMC. These results indicate that the cell surface HS of human T cells participates in HIV-1 infection by facilitating HIV-1/IIIB binding to MT-4 cells. In particular, the sulfation of HS chains is critical. Since the expression of cell surface HS varies among T cells, which are not consistently sensitive to hep I treatment in HIV-1 binding inhibition, other GAG-like molecules may also be involved.

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