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J Virol. 1997 Sep;71(9):6305-14.

Two distinct CCR5 domains can mediate coreceptor usage by human immunodeficiency virus type 1.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


The chemokine receptor CCR5 is the major fusion coreceptor for macrophage-tropic strains of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). To define the structures of CCR5 that can support envelope (Env)-mediated membrane fusion, we analyzed the activity of homologs, chimeras, and mutants of human CCR5 in a sensitive gene reporter cell-cell fusion assay. Simian, but not murine, homologs of CCR5 were fully active as HIV-1 fusion coreceptors. Chimeras between CCR5 and divergent chemokine receptors demonstrated the existence of two distinct regions of CCR5 that could be utilized for Env-mediated fusion, the amino-terminal domain and the extracellular loops. Dual-tropic Env proteins were particularly sensitive to alterations in the CCR5 amino-terminal domain, suggesting that this domain may play a pivotal role in the evolution of coreceptor usage in vivo. We identified individual residues in both functional regions, Asp-11, Lys-197, and Asp-276, that contribute to coreceptor function. Deletion of a highly conserved cytoplasmic motif rendered CCR5 incapable of signaling but did not abrogate its ability to function as a coreceptor, implying the independence of fusion and G-protein-mediated chemokine receptor signaling. Finally, we developed a novel monoclonal antibody to CCR5 to assist in future studies of CCR5 expression.

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