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J Exp Med. 1997 Jun 2;185(11):2015-23.

STRL33, A novel chemokine receptor-like protein, functions as a fusion cofactor for both macrophage-tropic and T cell line-tropic HIV-1.

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  • 1Laboratory of Clinical Investigation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


The chemokine receptors CXCR4, CCR2B, CCR3, and CCR5 have recently been shown to serve along with CD4 as coreceptors for HIV-1. The tropisms of HIV-1 strains for subgroups of CD4(+) cells can be explained, at least partly, by the selective use of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). We have identified a novel human gene, STRL33, located on chromosome 3 that encodes a GPCR with sequence similarity to chemokine receptors and to chemokine receptor-like orphan receptors. STRL33 is expressed in lymphoid tissues and activated T cells, and is induced in activated peripheral blood lymphocytes. When transfected into nonhuman NIH 3T3 cells expressing human CD4, the STRL33 cDNA rendered these cells competent to fuse with cells expressing HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins (Envs). Of greatest interest, STRL33, in contrast with CXCR4 or CCR5, was able to function as a cofactor for fusion mediated by Envs from both T cell line-tropic and macrophage-tropic HIV-1 strains. STRL33-transfected Jurkat cell lines also supported enhanced productive infection with HIV-1 compared with control Jurkat cells. Despite the sequence similarities between STRL33 and chemokine receptors, STRL33-transfected cell lines did not respond to any in a panel of chemokines. Based on the pattern of tissue expression of the STRL33 mRNA, and given the ability of STRL33 to function with Envs of differing tropisms, STRL33 may play a role in the establishment and/or progression of HIV-1 infection.

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