Send to

Choose Destination
J Virol. 2004 Jun;78(11):6005-12.

Species-specific tropism determinants in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 capsid.

Author information

AIDS Research Center, 455 First Ave., New York, NY 10021, USA.


Retroviral tropism is determined in part by cellular restriction factors that block infection by targeting the incoming viral capsid. Indeed, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection of many nonhuman primate cells is inhibited by one such factor, termed Lv1. In contrast, a restriction factor in humans, termed Ref1, does not inhibit HIV-1 infection unless nonnatural mutations are introduced into the HIV-1 capsid protein (CA). Here, we examined the infectivity of a panel of mutant HIV-1 strains carrying substitutions in the N-terminal CA domain in cells that exhibit restriction attributable to Lv1 or Ref1. Manipulation of HIV-1 CA could alter HIV-1 tropism, and several mutations were identified that increased or decreased HIV-1 infectivity in a target-cell-specific manner. Many residues that affected HIV-1 tropism were located in the three variable loops that lie on the outer surface of the modeled HIV-1 conical capsid. Some tropism determinants, including the CypA binding site, coincided with residues whose mutation conferred on HIV-1 CA the ability to saturate Ref1 in human cells. Notably, a mutation that reverses the infectivity defect in human cells induced by CypA binding site mutation inhibits recognition by Ref1. Overall, these findings demonstrate that exposed variable loops in CA and a partial CypA "coat" can modulate restriction and HIV-1 tropism and suggest a model in which the exposed surface of the incoming retroviral capsid is the target for inhibition by host cell-specific restriction factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center