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1.  Functional and Antigenic Characterization of Human, Rhesus Macaque, Pigtailed Macaque, and Murine DC-SIGN 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(21):10281-10289.
DC-SIGN, a type II membrane protein with a C-type lectin binding domain that is highly expressed on mucosal dendritic cells (DCs) and certain macrophages in vivo, binds to ICAM-3, ICAM-2, and human and simian immunodeficiency viruses (HIV and SIV). Virus captured by DC-SIGN can be presented to T cells, resulting in efficient virus infection, perhaps representing a mechanism by which virus can be ferried via normal DC trafficking from mucosal tissues to lymphoid organs in vivo. To develop reagents needed to characterize the expression and in vivo functions of DC-SIGN, we cloned, expressed, and analyzed rhesus macaque, pigtailed macaque, and murine DC-SIGN and made a panel of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to human DC-SIGN. Rhesus and pigtailed macaque DC-SIGN proteins were highly similar to human DC-SIGN and bound and transmitted HIV type 1 (HIV-1), HIV-2, and SIV to receptor-positive cells. In contrast, while competent to bind virus, murine DC-SIGN did not transmit virus to receptor-positive cells under the conditions tested. Thus, mere binding of virus to a C-type lectin does not necessarily mean that transmission will occur. The murine and macaque DC-SIGN molecules all bound ICAM-3. We mapped the determinants recognized by a panel of 16 MAbs to the repeat region, the lectin binding domain, and the extreme C terminus of DC-SIGN. One MAb was specific for DC-SIGN, failing to cross-react with DC-SIGNR. Most MAbs cross-reacted with rhesus and pigtailed macaque DC-SIGN, although none recognized murine DC-SIGN. Fifteen of the MAbs recognized DC-SIGN on DCs, with MAbs to the repeat region generally reacting most strongly. We conclude that rhesus and pigtailed macaque DC-SIGN proteins are structurally and functionally similar to human DC-SIGN and that the reagents that we have developed will make it possible to study the expression and function of this molecule in vivo.
PMCID: PMC114602  PMID: 11581396
2.  Expression of DC-SIGN by Dendritic Cells of Intestinal and Genital Mucosae in Humans and Rhesus Macaques 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(4):1866-1875.
To better understand the role of dendritic cells (DCs) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission at mucosal surfaces, we examined the expressions of the HIV adhesion molecule, dendritic-cell-specific ICAM-3 grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN), its closely related homologue DC-SIGNR, and HIV coreceptors by distinct DC populations in the intestinal and genital tracts of humans and rhesus macaques. We also developed monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) specific for DC-SIGN or DC-SIGNR. In the Peyer's patches, DC-SIGN expression was detected in the interfollicular regions and in clusters of cells in the subepithelial dome regions. DC-SIGN expression was not found on plasmacytoid DCs. DC-SIGNR expression was restricted to endothelial cells in approximately one-third of the capillaries in the terminal ileum. In the vaginal epithelium, Langerhans' cells did not express DC-SIGN, whereas subepithelial DCs in the lamina propria expressed moderate levels of DC-SIGN. Finally, the rectum contained cells that expressed high levels of DC-SIGN throughout the entire thickness of the mucosa, while solitary lymphoid nodules within the rectum showed very little staining for DC-SIGN. Triple-color analysis of rectal tissue indicated that CCR5+ CD4+ DC-SIGN+ DCs were localized just beneath the luminal epithelium. These findings suggest that DC-SIGN+ DCs could play a role in the transmission of primate lentiviruses in the ileum and the rectum whereas accessibility to DC-SIGN+ cells is limited in an intact vaginal mucosa. Finally, we identified a MAb that blocked simian immunodeficiency virus interactions with rhesus macaque DC-SIGN. This and other specific MAbs may be used to assess the relevance of DC-SIGN in virus transmission in vivo.
PMCID: PMC135921  PMID: 11799181
3.  Capture and Transfer of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus by Macaque Dendritic Cells Is Enhanced by DC-SIGN 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(23):11827-11836.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are among the first cells encountered by human and simian immunodeficiency virus (HIV and SIV) following mucosal infection. Because these cells efficiently capture and transmit virus to T cells, they may play a major role in mediating HIV and SIV infection. Recently, a C-type lectin protein present on DCs, DC-specific ICAM-3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN), was shown to efficiently bind and present HIV and SIV to CD4+, coreceptor-positive cells in trans. However, the significance of DC-SIGN for virus transmission and pathogenesis in vivo remains unclear. Because SIV infection of macaques may represent the best model to study the importance of DC-SIGN in HIV infection, we cloned and characterized pig-tailed macaque DC-SIGN and generated monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against it. We demonstrate that, like human DC-SIGN, pig-tailed macaque DC-SIGN (ptDC-SIGN) is expressed on DCs and macrophages but not on monocytes, T cells, or B cells. Moderate levels of ptDC-SIGN expression were detected on the surface of DCs, and low-level expression was found on macrophages. Additionally, we show that ptDC-SIGN efficiently binds and transmits replication-competent SIVmne variants to CD4+, coreceptor-positive cells. Moreover, transmission of virus between pig-tailed macaque DCs and CD4+ T cells is largely ptDC-SIGN dependent. Interestingly, MAbs directed against ptDC-SIGN vary in the capacity to block transmission of different SIVmne variants. These data demonstrate that ptDC-SIGN plays a central role in transmitting virus from macaque DCs to T cells, and they suggest that SIVmne variants may differ in their interactions with ptDC-SIGN. Thus, SIVmne infection of pig-tailed macaques may provide an opportunity to investigate the significance of DC-SIGN in primate lentiviral infections.
PMCID: PMC136877  PMID: 12414925
4.  Quantitative Expression and Virus Transmission Analysis of DC-SIGN on Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(18):9135-9142.
The C-type lectins DC-SIGN and DC-SIGNR efficiently bind human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) strains and can transmit bound virus to adjacent CD4-positive cells. DC-SIGN also binds efficiently to the Ebola virus glycoprotein, enhancing Ebola virus infection. DC-SIGN is thought to be responsible for the ability of dendritic cells (DCs) to capture HIV and transmit it to T cells, thus promoting HIV dissemination in vitro and perhaps in vivo as well. To investigate DC-SIGN function and expression levels on DCs, we characterized a panel of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) directed against the carbohydrate recognition domain of DC-SIGN. Using quantitative fluorescence-activated cell sorter technology, we found that DC-SIGN is highly expressed on immature monocyte-derived DCs, with at least 100,000 copies and often in excess of 250,000 copies per DC. There was modest variation (three- to fourfold) in DC-SIGN expression levels between individuals and between DCs isolated from the same individual at different times. Several MAbs efficiently blocked virus binding to cell lines expressing human or rhesus DC-SIGN, preventing HIV and SIV transmission. Interactions with Ebola virus pseudotypes were also blocked efficiently. Despite their ability to block virus-DC-SIGN interactions on cell lines, these antibodies only inhibited transmission of virus from DCs by approximately 50% or less. These results indicate that factors other than DC-SIGN may play important roles in the ability of DCs to capture and transmit HIV.
PMCID: PMC136426  PMID: 12186897
5.  Intercellular Adhesion Molecule 1 (ICAM-1), but Not ICAM-2 and -3, Is Important for Dendritic Cell-Mediated Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Transmission▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;83(9):4195-4204.
Dendritic cells (DCs) play a critical role in cell-to-cell-mediated transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Interactions between intercellular adhesion molecules (ICAMs) and their ligands facilitate DC-T-cell contact. The interaction between ICAM-1 on DCs and leukocyte function-associated molecule 1 (LFA-1) on CD4+ T cells has been proposed to be important for DC-mediated HIV-1 transmission. Given that DCs and T cells express multiple ICAMs and binding ligands, the relative importance of ICAMs in DC-mediated HIV-1 transmission remains to be defined. Here, we examine the role of ICAM-1, -2, and -3 in DC-mediated HIV-1 transmission to various types of target cells including primary CD4+ T cells. The expression levels of ICAMs and their ligands on immature and mature DCs and various types of HIV-1 target cells were measured by flow cytometry. Blocking ICAM-1 in DCs with specific monoclonal antibodies and small interfering RNA impaired DC-mediated HIV-1 transmission. DC-mediated viral transmission was significantly inhibited when both ICAM-1 on DCs and LFA-1 on CD4+ T cells were blocked. However, blockade of ICAM-1 on target cells did not significantly inhibit DC-mediated HIV-1 transmission. Ectopic expression and antibody blocking suggest that DC-mediated HIV-1 transmission to primary CD4+ T cells is independent of ICAM-2 and ICAM-3. Taken together, our data clarified the role of ICAMs in DC-mediated HIV-1 transmission to CD4+ T cells.
PMCID: PMC2668448  PMID: 19211748
6.  DC-SIGN Facilitates Fusion of Dendritic Cells with Human T-Cell Leukemia Virus Type 1-Infected Cells 
Journal of Virology  2006;80(10):4771-4780.
Interactions between the oncogenic retrovirus human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and dendritic cells (DCs) are poorly characterized. We show here that monocyte-derived DCs form syncytia and are infected upon coculture with HTLV-1-infected lymphocytes. We examined the role of DC-specific ICAM-3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN), a C-type lectin expressed in DCs, in HTLV-1-induced syncytium formation. DC-SIGN is known to bind with high affinity to various viral envelope glycoproteins, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus, as well as to the cellular receptors ICAM-2 and ICAM-3. After cocultivating DCs and HTLV-1-infected cells, we found that anti-DC-SIGN monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were able to decrease the number and size of HTLV-1-induced syncytia. Moreover, expression of the lectin in epithelial-cell lines dramatically enhanced the ability to fuse with HTLV-1-positive cells. Interestingly, in contrast to the envelope (Env) glycoproteins of HIV and other viruses, that of HTLV-1 does not bind directly to DC-SIGN. The facilitating role of the lectin in HTLV-1 syncytium formation is mediated by its interaction with ICAM-2 and ICAM-3, as demonstrated by use of MAbs directed against these adhesion molecules. Altogether, our results indicate that DC-SIGN facilitates HTLV-1 infection and fusion of DCs through an ICAM-dependent mechanism.
PMCID: PMC1472089  PMID: 16641270
7.  Trans-dominant cellular inhibition of DC-SIGN-mediated HIV-1 transmission 
Retrovirology  2004;1:14.
Dendritic cell (DC) transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to CD4+ T cells occurs across a point of cell-cell contact referred to as the infectious synapse. The relationship between the infectious synapse and the classically defined immunological synapse is not currently understood. We have recently demonstrated that human B cells expressing exogenous DC-SIGN, DC-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3 (ICAM-3)-grabbing nonintegrin, efficiently transmit captured HIV type 1 (HIV-1) to CD4+ T cells. K562, another human cell line of hematopoietic origin that has been extensively used in functional analyses of DC-SIGN and related molecules, lacks the principal molecules involved in the formation of immunological synaptic junctions, namely major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules and leukocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1). We thus examined whether K562 erythroleukemic cells could recapitulate efficient DC-SIGN-mediated HIV-1 transmission (DMHT).
Here we demonstrate that DMHT requires cell-cell contact. Despite similar expression of functional DC-SIGN, K562/DC-SIGN cells were inefficient in the transmission of HIV-1 to CD4+ T cells when compared with Raji/DC-SIGN cells. Expression of MHC class II molecules or LFA-1 on K562/DC-SIGN cells was insufficient to rescue HIV-1 transmission efficiency. Strikingly, we observed that co-culture of K562 cells with Raji/DC-SIGN cells impaired DMHT to CD4+ T cells. The K562 cell inhibition of transmission was not directly exerted on the CD4+ T cell targets and required contact between K562 and Raji/DC-SIGN cells.
DMHT is cell type dependent and requires cell-cell contact. We also find that the cellular milieu can negatively regulate DC-SIGN transmission of HIV-1 in trans.
PMCID: PMC446230  PMID: 15222882
8.  HIV transfer between CD4 T cells does not require LFA-1 binding to ICAM-1 and is governed by the interaction of HIV envelope glycoprotein with CD4 
Retrovirology  2008;5:32.
Cell-to-cell HIV transmission requires cellular contacts that may be in part mediated by the integrin leukocyte function antigen (LFA)-1 and its ligands intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, -2 and -3. The role of these molecules in free virus infection of CD4 T cells or in transinfection mediated by dendritic cells (DC) has been previously described. Here, we evaluate their role in viral transmission between different HIV producing cells and primary CD4 T cells.
The formation of cellular conjugates and subsequent HIV transmission between productively infected MOLT cell lines and primary CD4 T cells was not inhibited by a panel of blocking antibodies against ICAM-1, ICAM-3 and α and β chains of LFA-1. Complete abrogation of HIV transmission and formation of cellular conjugates was only observed when gp120/CD4 interactions were blocked. The dispensable role of LFA-1 in HIV transmission was confirmed using non-lymphoid 293T cells, lacking the expression of adhesion molecules, as HIV producing cells. Moreover, HIV transmission between infected and uninfected primary CD4 T cells was abrogated by inhibitors of gp120 binding to CD4 but was not inhibited by blocking LFA-1 binding to ICAM-1 or ICAM-3. Rather, LFA-1 and ICAM-3 mAbs enhanced HIV transfer. All HIV producing cells (including 293T cells) transferred HIV particles more efficiently to memory than to naive CD4 T cells.
In contrast to other mechanisms of viral spread, HIV transmission between infected and uninfected T cells efficiently occurs in the absence of adhesion molecules. Thus, gp120/CD4 interactions are the main driving force of the formation of cellular contacts between infected and uninfected CD4 T cells whereby HIV transmission occurs.
PMCID: PMC2359761  PMID: 18377648
9.  DC-SIGN on B Lymphocytes Is Required For Transmission of HIV-1 to T Lymphocytes 
PLoS Pathogens  2006;2(7):e70.
Infection of T cells by HIV-1 can occur through binding of virus to dendritic cell (DC)-specific ICAM-3 grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN) on dendritic cells and transfer of virus to CD4+ T cells. Here we show that a subset of B cells in the blood and tonsils of normal donors expressed DC-SIGN, and that this increased after stimulation in vitro with interleukin 4 and CD40 ligand, with enhanced expression of activation and co-stimulatory molecules CD23, CD58, CD80, and CD86, and CD22. The activated B cells captured and internalized X4 and R5 tropic strains of HIV-1, and mediated trans infection of T cells. Pretreatment of the B cells with anti–DC-SIGN monoclonal antibody blocked trans infection of T cells by both strains of HIV-1. These results indicate that DC-SIGN serves as a portal on B cells for HIV-1 infection of T cells in trans. Transmission of HIV-1 from B cells to T cells through this DC-SIGN pathway could be important in the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection.
A cell surface molecule, DC-SIGN, is known to bind the AIDS virus, human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1), on dendritic cells. HIV-1 can then be transferred from these dendritic cells to CD4+ T cells, in which the virus replicates and kills the T cells. Here, Rappocciolo and colleagues present their findings that DC-SIGN serves a similar function on a subset of B cells of the peripheral blood and tonsils. Although B cells that express DC-SIGN do not replicate HIV-1, they serve as portals for transfer and enhanced HIV-1 infection of CD4+ T cells, the major site of virus replication in the host. This newly described pathway for HIV-1 infection of T cells via B cells could be important in the pathogenesis of the virus infection.
PMCID: PMC1500807  PMID: 16839201
10.  CD4 Coexpression Regulates DC-SIGN-Mediated Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1▿  
Journal of Virology  2006;81(5):2497-2507.
Dendritic cells (DCs) potently stimulate the cell-cell transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). However, the mechanisms that underlie DC transmission of HIV-1 to CD4+ T cells are not fully understood. DC-SIGN, a C-type lectin, efficiently promotes HIV-1 trans infection. DC-SIGN is expressed in monocyte-derived DCs (MDDCs), macrophage subsets, activated B lymphocytes, and various mucosal tissues. MDDC-mediated HIV-1 transmission to CD4+ T cells involves DC-SIGN-dependent and -independent mechanisms. DC-SIGN transmission of HIV-1 depends on the donor cell type. HIV-1 Nef can upregulate DC-SIGN expression and promote DC-T-cell clustering and HIV-1 spread. Nef also downregulates CD4 expression; however, the effect of the CD4 downmodulation on DC-mediated HIV-1 transmission has not been examined. Here, we report that CD4 expression levels correlate with inefficient HIV-1 transmission by monocytic cells expressing DC-SIGN. Expression of CD4 on Raji B cells strongly impaired DC-SIGN-mediated HIV-1 transmission to T cells. By contrast, enhanced HIV-1 transmission was observed when CD4 molecules on MDDCs and DC-SIGN-CD4-expressing cell lines were blocked with specific antibodies. Coexpression of CD4 and DC-SIGN in Raji cells promoted the internalization and intracellular retention of HIV-1. Interestingly, internalized HIV-1 particles were sorted and confined to late endosomal compartments that were positive for CD63 and CD81. Furthermore, in HIV-1-infected MDDCs, significant downregulation of CD4 by Nef expression correlated with enhanced viral transmission. These results suggest that CD4, which is present at various levels in DC-SIGN-positive primary cells, is a key regulator of HIV-1 transmission.
PMCID: PMC1865928  PMID: 17151103
11.  Characterization of DC-SIGN/R Interaction with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 gp120 and ICAM Molecules Favors the Receptor's Role as an Antigen-Capturing Rather than an Adhesion Receptor 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(8):4589-4598.
The dendritic cell (DC)-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3 (ICAM-3)-grabbing nonintegrin binding receptor (DC-SIGN) was shown to bind human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) viral envelope protein gp120 and proposed to function as a Trojan horse to enhance trans-virus infection to host T cells. To better understand the mechanism by which DC-SIGN and DC-SIGNR selectively bind HIV-1 gp120, we constructed a series of deletion mutations in the repeat regions of both receptors. Different truncated receptors exist in different oligomeric forms. The carbohydrate binding domain without any repeats was monomeric, whereas the full extracellular receptors existed as tetramers. All reconstituted receptors retained their ability to bind gp120. The dissociation constant, however, differed drastically from micromolar values for the monomeric receptors to nanomolar values for the tetrameric receptors, suggesting that the repeat region of these receptors contributes to the avidity of gp120 binding. Such oligomerization may provide a mechanism for the receptor to selectively recognize pathogens containing multiple high-mannose-concentration carbohydrates. In contrast, the receptors bound to ICAMs with submicromolar affinities that are similar to those of two nonspecific cell surface glycoproteins, FcγRIIb and FcγRIII, and the oligomerization of DC-SIGNR resulted in no increase in binding affinity to ICAM-3. These findings suggest that DC-SIGN may not discriminate other cell surface glycoproteins from ICAM-3 binding. The pH dependence in DC-SIGN binding to gp120 showed that the receptor retained high-affinity gp120 binding at neutral pH but lost gp120 binding at pH 5, suggesting a release mechanism of HIV in the acidic endosomal compartment by DC-SIGN. Our work contradicts the function of DC-SIGN as a Trojan horse to facilitate HIV-1 infection; rather, it supports the function of DC-SIGN/R (a designation referring to both DC-SIGN and DC-SIGNR) as an antigen-capturing receptor.
PMCID: PMC1069580  PMID: 15795245
12.  Hepatitis C Virus Targets DC-SIGN and L-SIGN To Escape Lysosomal Degradation 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(15):8322-8332.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major health problem. However, the mechanism of hepatocyte infection is largely unknown. We demonstrate that the dendritic cell (DC)-specific C-type lectin DC-SIGN and its liver-expressed homologue L-SIGN/DC-SIGNR are important receptors for HCV envelope glycoproteins E1 and E2. Mutagenesis analyses demonstrated that both HCV E1 and E2 bind the same binding site on DC-SIGN as the pathogens human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and mycobacteria, which is distinct from the cellular ligand ICAM-3. HCV virus-like particles are efficiently captured and internalized by DCs through binding of DC-SIGN. Antibodies against DC-SIGN specifically block HCV capture by both immature and mature DCs, demonstrating that DC-SIGN is the major receptor on DCs. Interestingly, internalized HCV virus-like particles were targeted to nonlysosomal compartments within immature DCs, where they are protected from lysosomal degradation in a manner similar to that demonstrated for HIV-1. Lewis X antigen, another ligand of DC-SIGN, was internalized to lysosomes, demonstrating that the internalization pathway of DC-SIGN-captured ligands may depend on the structure of the ligand. Our results suggest that HCV may target DC-SIGN to “hide” within DCs and facilitate viral dissemination. L-SIGN, expressed by THP-1 cells, internalized HCV particles into similar nonlysosomal compartments, suggesting that L-SIGN on liver sinusoidal endothelial cells may capture HCV from blood and transmit it to hepatocytes, the primary target for HCV. We therefore conclude that both DCs and liver sinusoidal endothelial cells may act as reservoirs for HCV and that the C-type lectins DC-SIGN and L-SIGN, as important HCV receptors, may represent a molecular target for clinical intervention in HCV infection.
PMCID: PMC446128  PMID: 15254204
13.  Characterization of ICAM-2 and evidence for a third counter-receptor for LFA-1 
In an endeavor to further characterize human intercellular adhesion molecule-2 (ICAM-2), two murine monoclonal antibodies (mAb) were generated to ICAM-2 transfected COS cells, and designated CBR-IC2/1 and CBR-IC2/2. Immunoprecipitated, reduced ICAM-2 migrated as a broad band of Mr 60,000 in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Treatment with N-glycanase revealed a peptide backbone of Mr 31,000, consistent with the size predicted from the cDNA. ICAM-2 had a broad distribution on hematopoietic cell lines and little expression on other cell lines, the sole exception being cultured endothelial cells which possess high levels of ICAM-2. Resting lymphocytes and monocytes expressed ICAM-2, while neutrophils did not. Staining of tissue sections with anti-ICAM-2 mAb confirmed their strong reactivity to vascular endothelium, but demonstrated a lack of ICAM-2 expression on other tissues. Small clusters of ICAM-2 positive cells were, however, seen in germinal centers. In contrast to ICAM-1 there was little or no induction of ICAM-2 expression on lymphocytes or cultured endothelium upon stimulation with inflammatory mediators. One of the two mAb, CBR-IC2/2, was found to totally inhibit binding of ICAM- 2+ COS cells to purified lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA- 1). Using this mAb, LFA-1-dependent binding to both stimulated and unstimulated endothelium was found to be totally accounted for by ICAM- 1 and ICAM-2. Homotypic aggregation of an Epstein-Barr virus- transformed B cell line, JY, was found to be solely ICAM-1 and ICAM-2- dependent, while in the case of the T cell lymphoma cell line, SKW3, anti- ICAM-2 mAb in conjunction with anti-ICAM-1 mAb could not inhibit the LFA-1-dependent aggregation. This suggests an additional LFA-1 ligand exists. Using a cell binding assay to purified LFA-1 in conjunction with anti-ICAM-1 and anti-ICAM-2 mAb, we have demonstrated that this putative third ligand for LFA-1 exists on SKW3 and other cell lines.
PMCID: PMC2118873  PMID: 1676048
14.  Human Seminal Plasma Abrogates the Capture and Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 to CD4+ T Cells Mediated by DC-SIGN▿  
Journal of Virology  2007;81(24):13723-13734.
Dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN) is expressed by dendritic cells (DCs) at mucosal surfaces and appears to play an important role in the dissemination of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. DC-SIGN binds HIV-1 gp120 and efficiently transmits the virus to T CD4+ cells, which become the center of viral replication. Semen represents the main vector for HIV-1 dissemination worldwide. In the present study we show that human seminal plasma (SP), even when used at very high dilutions (1:104 to 1:105), markedly inhibits the capture and transmission of HIV-1 to T CD4+ cells mediated by both DCs and B-THP-1-DC-SIGN cells. In contrast, SP does not inhibit the capture of HIV-1 by DC-SIGN-negative target cells, such as the T-cell line SupT-1, monocytes, and activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The SP inhibitor has a high molecular mass (>100 kDa) and directly interacts with DC-SIGN-positive target cells but not with HIV-1. Moreover, the inhibitor binds to concanavalin A, suggesting that it contains high-mannose N-linked carbohydrates. Of note, using biotin-labeled SP we found that the binding of SP components to DCs was abrogated by mannan, while their interaction with B-THP-1 cells was almost completely dependent on the expression of DC-SIGN. Since epithelium integrity is often compromised after vaginal or anal intercourse, as well as in the presence of ulcerative-sexually transmitted diseases, our results support the notion that components of the SP might be able to access to the subepithelium, inhibiting the recognition of HIV-1 gp120 by DC-SIGN-positive DCs.
PMCID: PMC2168832  PMID: 17913809
15.  A Dendritic Cell–Specific Intercellular Adhesion Molecule 3–Grabbing Nonintegrin (Dc-Sign)–Related Protein Is Highly Expressed on Human Liver Sinusoidal Endothelial Cells and Promotes HIV-1 Infection 
The discovery of dendritic cell (DC)-specific intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-3–grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN) as a DC-specific ICAM-3 binding receptor that enhances HIV-1 infection of T cells in trans has indicated a potentially important role for adhesion molecules in AIDS pathogenesis. A related molecule called DC-SIGNR exhibits 77% amino acid sequence identity with DC-SIGN. The DC-SIGN and DC-SIGNR genes map within a 30-kb region on chromosome 19p13.2-3. Their strong homology and close physical location indicate a recent duplication of the original gene. Messenger RNA and protein expression patterns demonstrate that the DC-SIGN–related molecule is highly expressed on liver sinusoidal cells and in the lymph node but not on DCs, in contrast to DC-SIGN. Therefore, we suggest that a more appropriate name for the DC-SIGN–related molecule is L-SIGN, liver/lymph node–specific ICAM-3–grabbing nonintegrin. We show that in the liver, L-SIGN is expressed by sinusoidal endothelial cells. Functional studies indicate that L-SIGN behaves similarly to DC-SIGN in that it has a high affinity for ICAM-3, captures HIV-1 through gp120 binding, and enhances HIV-1 infection of T cells in trans. We propose that L-SIGN may play an important role in the interaction between liver sinusoidal endothelium and trafficking lymphocytes, as well as function in the pathogenesis of HIV-1.
PMCID: PMC2193415  PMID: 11257134
L-SIGN; adhesion receptor; chromosome 19p13.2-3; ICAM-3; HIV-1 gp120
16.  Differential Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 by Distinct Subsets of Effector Dendritic Cells 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(15):7812-7821.
Dendritic cells (DC) support human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission by capture of the virus particle in the mucosa and subsequent transport to the draining lymph node, where HIV-1 is presented to CD4+ Th cells. Virus transmission involves a high-affinity interaction between the DC-specific surface molecule DC-SIGN and the viral envelope glycoprotein gp120 and subsequent internalization of the virus, which remains infectious. The mechanism of viral transmission from DC to T cells is currently unknown. Sentinel immature DC (iDC) develop into Th1-promoting effector DC1 or Th2-promoting DC2, depending on the activation signals. We studied the ability of these effector DC subsets to support HIV-1 transmission in vitro. Compared with iDC, virus transmission is greatly upregulated for the DC1 subset, whereas DC2 cells are inactive. Increased transmission by DC1 correlates with increased expression of ICAM-1, and blocking studies confirm that ICAM-1 expression on DC is important for HIV transmission. The ICAM-1-LFA-1 interaction is known to be important for immunological cross talk between DC and T cells, and our results indicate that this cell-cell contact is exploited by HIV-1 for efficient transmission.
PMCID: PMC136398  PMID: 12097593
17.  Dendritic Cell-Specific Intercellular Adhesion Molecule 3-Grabbing Nonintegrin/CD209 Is Abundant on Macrophages in the Normal Human Lymph Node and Is Not Required for Dendritic Cell Stimulation of the Mixed Leukocyte Reaction1 
The C-type lectin dendritic cell-specific ICAM 3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN)/CD209 efficiently binds several pathogens, including HIV-1. DC-SIGN is expressed on monocyte-derived DCs in culture, and importantly, it is able to sequester HIV-1 within cells and facilitate transmission of virus to CD4+ T cells. To investigate DC-SIGN function, we have generated new mAbs. We report in this study that these and prior anti-DC-SIGN mAbs primarily label macrophages in the medullary sinuses of noninflamed human lymph node. In contrast, expression is not detected on most DCs in the T cell area, except for occasional cells. We also noted that IL-4 alone can induce expression of DC-SIGN in CD14+ monocytes and circulating blood DCs. However, blockade of DC-SIGN with Abs and DC-SIGN small interfering RNA did not result in a major reduction in the capacity of these DCs to transfer HIV to T cells, confirming significant DC-SIGN-independent mechanisms. The blocking approaches did reduce HIV-1 transmission by DC-SIGN-transfected cells by >90%. DC-SIGN blockade also did not reduce the ability of DCs to stimulate T cell proliferation in the MLR. These results indicate that DC-SIGN has the potential to contribute to macrophage function in normal human lymph node, and that DCs do not require DC-SIGN to transmit HIV or to initiate T cell responses.
PMCID: PMC1378112  PMID: 16177066
18.  DC-SIGN from African Green Monkeys Is Expressed in Lymph Nodes and Mediates Infection in trans of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus SIVagm 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(2):798-810.
African green monkeys (AGMs) infected by simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) SIVagm are resistant to AIDS. SIVagm-infected AGMs exhibit levels of viremia similar to those described during pathogenic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and SIVmac infections in humans and macaques, respectively, but contain lower viral loads in their lymph nodes. We addressed the potential role of dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN; CD209) in viral dissemination. In previous studies, it has been shown that human DC-SIGN and macaque DC-SIGN allow transmission of HIV and SIVmac to T cells. Here, we looked at the ability of DC-SIGN derived from AGM lymph nodes to interact with SIVagm. We show that DC-SIGN-expressing cells are present mainly in the medulla and often within the cortex and/or paracortex of AGM lymph nodes. We describe the isolation and characterization of at least three isoforms of dc-sign mRNA in lymph nodes of AGMs. The predicted amino acid sequence from the predominant mRNA isoform, DC-SIGNagm1, is 92 and 99% identical to the corresponding human and rhesus macaque DC-SIGN amino acid sequences, respectively. DC-SIGNagm1 is characterized by the lack of the fourth motif in the repeat domain. This deletion was also detected in the dc-sign gene derived from thirteen animals belonging to five other African monkey species and from four macaques (Macaca fascicularis and M. mulatta). Despite three- to seven-amino-acid modifications compared to DC-SIGNmac, DC-SIGNagm1 allows transmission of SIVagm to T cells. Furthermore, AGM monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDC) expressed at least 100,000 DC-SIGN molecules and were able to transmit SIVagm to T cells. At a low multiplicity of infection (10−5 50% tissue culture infective doses/cell), viral transmission by AGM MDDC was mainly DC-SIGN dependent. The present study reveals that DC-SIGN from a natural host species of SIV has the ability to act as an efficient attachment and transmission factor for SIVagm and suggests the absence of a direct link between this ability and viral load levels in lymph nodes.
PMCID: PMC368752  PMID: 14694112
19.  ICAM-3 influences human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication in CD4+ T-cells independent of DC-SIGN-mediated transmission 
Virology  2007;364(2):383-394.
We investigated the role of ICAM-3 in DC-SIGN-mediated human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection of CD4+ T cells. Our results demonstrate that ICAM-3 does not appear to play a role in DC-SIGN-mediated infection of CD4+ T cells as virus is transmitted equally to ICAM-3+ or ICAM-3− Jurkat T cells. However, HIV-1 replication is enhanced in ICAM-3− cells, suggesting that ICAM-3 may limit HIV-1 replication. Similar results were obtained when SIV replication was examined in ICAM-3+ and ICAM-3− CEMx174 cells. Furthermore, while ICAM-3 has been proposed to play a co-stimulatory role in T cell activation, DC-SIGN expression on antigen presenting cells did not enhance antigen-dependent activation of T cells. Together, these data indicate that while ICAM-3 may influence HIV-1 replication, it does so independent of DC-SIGN mediated virus transmission or activation of CD4+ T cells.
PMCID: PMC1973158  PMID: 17434553
HIV-1; SIV; DC-SIGN; ICAM-3; T cell; activation
20.  AM3 Modulates Dendritic Cell Pathogen Recognition Capabilities by Targeting DC-SIGN▿  
AM3 (Inmunoferon) is an orally effective immunomodulator that influences the regulatory and effector functions of the immune system whose molecular mechanisms of action are mostly unknown. We hypothesized that the polysaccharide moiety of AM3 (IF-S) might affect immune responses by modulating the lectin-dependent pathogen recognition abilities of human dendritic cells. IF-S inhibited binding of viral, fungal, and parasite pathogens by human monocyte-derived dendritic cells in a dose-dependent manner. IF-S specifically impaired the pathogen recognition capabilities of DC-SIGN, as it reduced the attachment of Candida, Aspergillus, and Leishmania to DC-SIGN transfectants. IF-S also inhibited the interaction of DC-SIGN with both its cellular counterreceptor (intercellular adhesion molecule 3) and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 gp120 protein and blocked the DC-SIGN-dependent capture of HIV virions and the HIV trans-infection capability of DC-SIGN transfectants. IF-S promoted DC-SIGN internalization in DCs without affecting mannose receptor expression, and 1D saturation transfer difference nuclear magnetic resonance demonstrated that IF-S directly interacts with DC-SIGN on the cell surface. Therefore, the polysaccharide moiety of AM3 directly influences pathogen recognition by dendritic cells by interacting with DC-SIGN. Our results indicate that DC-SIGN is the target for an immunomodulator and imply that the adjuvant and immunomodulatory actions of AM3 are mediated, at least in part, by alteration of the DC-SIGN functional activities.
PMCID: PMC1913256  PMID: 17452477
21.  ICAM-3 regulates lymphocyte morphology and integrin-mediated T cell interaction with endothelial cell and extracellular matrix ligands 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1994;127(3):867-878.
Leukocyte activation is a complex process that involves multiple cross- regulated cell adhesion events. In this report, we investigated the role of intercellular adhesion molecule-3 (ICAM-3), the third identified ligand for the beta 2 integrin leukocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1), in the regulation of leukocyte adhesion to ICAM-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and the 38- and 80-kD fragments of fibronectin (FN40 and FN80). The activating anti-ICAM-3 HP2/19, but not other anti-ICAM-3 mAb, was able to enhance T lymphoblast adhesion to these proteins when combined with very low doses of anti-CD3 mAb, which were unable by themselves to induce this phenomenon. In contrast, anti-ICAM-1 mAb did not enhance T cell attachment to these substrata. T cell adhesion to ICAM-1, VCAM-1, FN40, and FN80 was specifically blocked by anti-LFA-1, anti-VLA alpha 4, and anti-VLA alpha 5 mAb, respectively. The activating anti-ICAM-3 HP2/19 was also able to specifically enhance the VLA-4- and VLA-5-mediated binding of leukemic T Jurkat cells to VCAM-1, FN40, and FN80, even in the absence of cooccupancy of the CD3-TcR complex. We also studied the localization of ICAM-3, LFA-1, and the VLA beta 1 integrin, by immunofluorescence microscopy, on cells interacting with ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and FN80. We found that the anti-ICAM-3 HP2/19 mAb specifically promoted a dramatic change on the morphology of T lymphoblasts when these cells were allowed to interact with those adhesion ligands. Under these conditions, it was observed that a large cell contact area from which an uropod-like structure (heading uropod) was projected toward the outer milieu. However, when T blasts were stimulated with other adhesion promoting agents as the activating anti-VLA beta 1 TS2/16 mAb or phorbol esters, this structure was not detected. The anti-ICAM-3 TP1/24 mAb was also unable to induce this phenomenon. Notably, a striking cell redistribution of ICAM-3 was induced specifically by the HP2/19 mAb, but not by the other anti-ICAM-3 mAb or the other adhesion promoting agents. Thus, ICAM-3 was almost exclusively concentrated in the most distal portion of the heading uropod whereas either LFA-1 or the VLA beta 1 integrin were uniformly distributed all over the large contact area. Moreover, this phenomenon was also observed when T cells were specifically stimulated with the HP2/19 mAb to interact with TNF alpha-activated endothelial cells.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
PMCID: PMC2120223  PMID: 7525599
22.  Intercellular Adhesion Molecule 1 Promotes HIV-1 Attachment but Not Fusion to Target Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44827.
Incorporation of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) into HIV-1 particles is known to markedly enhance the virus binding and infection of cells expressing lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1). At the same time, ICAM-1 has been reported to exert a less pronounced effect on HIV-1 fusion with lymphoid cells. Here we examined the role of ICAM-1/LFA-1 interactions in productive HIV-1 entry into lymphoid cells using a direct virus-cell fusion assay. ICAM-1 promoted HIV-1 attachment to cells in a temperature-dependent manner. It exerted a marginal effect on virus binding in the cold, but enhanced binding up to 4-fold at physiological temperature. ICAM-1-independent attachment in the cold was readily reversible upon subsequent incubation at elevated temperature, whereas ICAM-1-bearing particles were largely retained by cells. The better virus retention resulted in a proportional increase in HIV-1 internalization and fusion, suggesting that ICAM-1 did not specifically accelerate endocytosis or fusion steps. We also measured the rates of CD4 engagement, productive endocytosis and HIV-endosome fusion using specific fusion inhibitors. These rates were virtually independent of the presence of ICAM-1 in viral particles. Importantly, irrespective of the presence of ICAM-1, HIV-1 escaped from the low temperature block, which stopped virus endocytosis and fusion, much later than from a membrane-impermeant fusion inhibitor targeting surface-accessible particles. This result, along with the complete inhibition of HIV-1 fusion by a small molecule dynamin inhibitor, implies this virus enters lymphoid cells used in this study via endocytosis and that this pathway is not altered by the viral ICAM-1. Our data highlight the role of ICAM-1 in stabilizing the HIV-1 attachment to LFA-1 expressing cells, which leads to a proportional enhancement of the receptor-mediated uptake and fusion with endosomes.
PMCID: PMC3435301  PMID: 22970312
23.  ICAM-3 interacts with LFA-1 and regulates the LFA-1/ICAM-1 cell adhesion pathway 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1993;123(4):1007-1016.
The interaction of lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) with its ligands mediates multiple cell adhesion processes of capital importance during immune responses. We have obtained three anti-ICAM-3 mAbs which recognize two different epitopes (A and B) on the intercellular adhesion molecule-3 (ICAM-3) as demonstrated by sequential immunoprecipitation and cross-competitive mAb-binding experiments. Immunoaffinity purified ICAM-3-coated surfaces were able to support T lymphoblast attachment upon cell stimulation with both phorbol esters and cross-linked CD3, as well as by mAb engagement of the LFA-1 molecule with the activating anti-LFA-1 NKI-L16 mAb. T cell adhesion to purified ICAM-3 was completely inhibited by cell pretreatment with mAbs to the LFA-1 alpha (CD11a) or the LFA-beta (CD18) integrin chains. Anti-ICAM-3 mAbs specific for epitope A, but not those specific for epitope B, were able to trigger T lymphoblast homotypic aggregation. ICAM-3-mediated cell aggregation was dependent on the LFA-1/ICAM-1 pathway as demonstrated by blocking experiments with mAbs specific for the LFA-1 and ICAM-1 molecules. Furthermore, immunofluorescence studies on ICAM-3-induced cell aggregates revealed that both LFA-1 and ICAM-1 were mainly located at intercellular boundaries. ICAM-3 was located at cellular uropods, which in small aggregates appeared to be implicated in cell-cell contacts, whereas in large aggregates it appeared to be excluded from cell-cell contact areas. Experiments of T cell adhesion to a chimeric ICAM-1-Fc molecule revealed that the proaggregatory anti-ICAM-3 HP2/19 mAb was able to increase T lymphoblast attachment to ICAM-1, suggesting that T cell aggregation induced by this mAb could be mediated by increasing the avidity of LFA-1 for ICAM-1. Moreover, the HP2/19 mAb was costimulatory with anti-CD3 mAb for T lymphocyte proliferation, indicating that enhancement of T cell activation could be involved in ICAM-3-mediated adhesive phenomena. Altogether, our results indicate that ICAM-3 has a regulatory role on the LFA-1/ICAM-1 pathway of intercellular adhesion.
PMCID: PMC2200154  PMID: 7901223
24.  Characterization of the function of intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-3 and comparison with ICAM-1 and ICAM-2 in immune responses 
We have characterized the immunobiology of the interaction of intercellular adhesion molecule 3 (ICAM-3; CD50) with its counter- receptor, leukocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1; CD11a/CD18). Purified ICAM-3 supported LFA-1-dependent adhesion in a temperature- and cation-dependent manner. Activation of cells bearing LFA-1 increased adhesiveness for ICAM-3 in parallel to adhesiveness for ICAM- 1. Although CBR-IC3/1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) blocked adhesion of cells to purified LFA-1, when tested alone, neither CBR-IC3/1 nor five novel ICAM-3 mAbs characterized here blocked adhesion of cells to purified ICAM-3 or homotypic adhesion. Two ICAM-3 mAbs, CBR-IC3/1 and CBR-IC3/2, were required to block LFA-1-dependent adhesion to purified ICAM-3- or LFA-1-dependent, ICAM-1-, ICAM-2-independent homotypic adhesion of lymphoid cell lines. Two ICAM-3 mAbs, CBR-IC3/1 and CBR- IC3/6, induced LFA-1-independent aggregation that was temperature and divalent cation dependent and was completely inhibited by ICAM-3 mAb, CBR-IC3/2, recognizing a distinct epitope. Purified ICAM-3 provided a costimulatory signal for proliferation of resting T lymphocytes. mAb to ICAM-3, together with mAbs to ICAM-1 and ICAM-2, inhibited peripheral blood lymphocyte proliferation in response to phytohemagglutinin, allogeneic stimulator cells, and specific antigen. Inhibition was almost complete and to the same level as with mAb to LFA-1, suggesting the most functionally important, and possibly all, of the ligands for LFA-1 have been defined.
PMCID: PMC2191386  PMID: 7905020
25.  Dendritic cell-mediated HIV-1 transmission to T cells of LAD-1 patients is impaired due to the defect in LFA-1 
Retrovirology  2006;3:75.
Dendritic cells (DC) have been proposed to mediate sexual HIV-1 transmission by capturing the virus in the mucosa and subsequently presenting it to CD4+ T cells. We have demonstrated before that DC subsets expressing higher levels of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) are better HIV-1 transmitters. ICAM-1 binds leukocyte function-associated molecule-1 (LFA-1) on T cells, an integrin responsible for adhesion and signaling at the immunological synapse. To corroborate the importance of the ICAM-1— LFA-1 interaction, we performed transmission experiments to LFA-1 negative leukocytes from Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency type 1 (LAD-1) patients.
We clearly show that DC-mediated HIV-1 transmission to LAD-1 T cells is impaired in comparison to healthy controls. Furthermore, HIV-1 transmission to T cells from a unique LAD-1 patient with a well characterized LFA-1 activation defect was impaired as well, demonstrating that activation of LFA-1 is crucial for efficient transmission. Decreased cell adhesion between DC and LAD-1 T cells could also be illustrated by significantly smaller DC-T cell clusters after HIV-1 transmission.
By making use of LFA-1 defect cells from unique patients, this study provides more insight into the mechanism of HIV-1 transmission by DC. This may offer new treatment options to reduce sexual transmission of HIV-1.
PMCID: PMC1635562  PMID: 17078873

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