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1.  Stromal cell-derived factor 1 polymorphism in patients infected with HIV and implications for AIDS progression in Tunisia 
HIV/AIDS (Auckland, N.Z.)  2010;2:203-209.
An interesting finding in the epidemiology of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is that certain mutations in genes coding for chemokines, and their receptors and ligands, may confer resistance or susceptibility to HIV-1 infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) progression. The mutation most frequently studied is stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)1-3′A, a single nucleotide polymorphism in the 3′ untranslated region at the 801 position of the SDF1 gene, which seems to be associated with susceptibility or resistance to diseases, including AIDS. We examined the frequency of the above polymorphisms in the Tunisian population, and evaluated their contribution to a protective genetic background against HIV infection and progression.
Methods and materials
One hundred forty blood samples from HIV-infected patients from the Cellular Immunology Research Laboratory at the National Blood Transfusion Center were compared with those of 164 random blood donors from the same center. Genotyping was initially performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. SDF1 PCR product genomic regions were further subjected to restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis for genotype determination. Screening for the SDF1 polymorphism in the HIV-infected population yielded 56 heterozygous (40%), 52 mutation homozygous (37.1%), and 32 wild-type homozygous (22.8%) subjects. In contrast, in our healthy population, we found 70/164 heterozygous (42.6%), nine mutation homozygous (5.4%), and 85 wild-type homozygous (51.8%) subjects. The allele frequencies in the HIV-infected and healthy populations were f(SD1 3′A) = 57.1%, f(SDF1) = 42.8%, f(SDF1 3′A) = 26.8%, and f(SDF1) = 73.1%, respectively. The allelic and genotypic frequencies of the SDF1 3′A in our population show significantly higher distribution profiles compared with those observed in other Caucasian, European, and African American populations. Our results were examined by χ2 test and appear to confirm an association between polymorphism and AIDS progression. A higher odds ratio (>1) was found for the SDF1-3′A allele than for the wild-type allele (<1).
This result seems to confirm that the SDF1-3′A allele is associated with acceleration and progression from HIV infection to AIDS in the Tunisian population.
PMCID: PMC3218698  PMID: 22096399
human immunodeficiency virus; SDF1 polymorphism; Tunisia
2.  The Role of Genetic Variants of Stromal Cell-Derived Factor 1 in Pediatric HIV-1 Infection and Disease Progression 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44460.
Stromal cell-Derived Factor 1 (SDF1) is the natural ligand of CXCR4, the coreceptor of HIV-1 X4 viruses. This study investigated the role of the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1801157 (NM_000609.5:c.*519G>A) of the SDF1 gene in the natural history of mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 and disease progression of HIV-1-infected children. The study was conducted in 428 children born to HIV-1-seropositive mothers, who had not undergone antiretroviral therapy (ART) during pregnancy, and in 120 HIV-1-infected children for whom the end-point was the onset of AIDS or the initiation of ART; 16 children developed early AIDS (<24 months of life), 13 from 24 to 84 months of age, and 14 had late AIDS (>84 months). The rs1801157 SNP was not associated with risk of perinatal infection in any genetic models tested. By contrast, this SNP influenced disease progression in a time-dependent manner. rs1801157 GA heterozygous children had a higher risk of late AIDS (HR = 6.3, 95%CI 1.9–20.7, p = 0.002) than children with the rs1801157 GG genotype. Children were studied for viral coreceptor usage at birth, after 84 months of age and/or at AIDS onset. While R5 viruses using CCR5 coreceptor were predominant at birth (94%) and at early AIDS (85%), viruses using CXCR4 coreceptor emerged during the course of infection and were detected in 49% of children older than 84 months and in 62% of late AIDS. The rs1801157 SNP did not influence the emergence of R5X4 viruses, but children with the rs1801157 GA genotype and R5X4 viruses were at significantly higher risk of late AIDS than children with rs1801157 GG genotype (OR = 8.0, 95% CI 1.2–52.2, p = 0.029). Our results indicate that the rs1801157 SNP does not influence perinatal infection, but impacts disease progression. This effect is time-dependent and linked to the coreceptor-usage of viral variants that undergo evolution during the course of HIV-1 infection.
PMCID: PMC3433455  PMID: 22962615
3.  T-Cell-Line-Tropic Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 That Is Made Resistant to Stromal Cell-Derived Factor 1α Contains Mutations in the Envelope gp120 but Does Not Show a Switch in Coreceptor Use 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(5):4032-4037.
The NL4.3 T-cell-line-tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 strain is sensitive to the CXC chemokine stromal cell-derived factor 1α (SDF-1α), the natural ligand for CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4); the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) in MT-4 cells is 130 ng/ml. We generated resistant virus through passaging of the virus in the presence of increasing concentrations of SDF-1α. After 24 passages, the virus was no longer sensitive to SDF-1α (SDF-1αres virus) (IC50, >2 μg/ml) and became resistant to SDF-1β (IC50, >2 μg/ml) and to a specific CXCR4 monoclonal antibody (IC50, >20 μg/ml). The SDF-1αres virus was about 10-fold less sensitive than the wild-type virus to the bicyclam AMD3100, a specific CXCR4 antagonist. The SDF-1αres virus contained the following mutations in the gp120 molecule: N106K in the V1 loop; S134N and F145L in the V2 loop; F245I in the C2 loop; K269E, Q278H, I288V, and N293D in the V3 loop; a deletion of 5 amino acids (FNSTW) at positions 364 to 368 in the V4 loop; and R378T in the CD4 binding domain. Replication of the NL4.3 wild-type virus and the SDF-1αres virus was demonstrated in U87 cells that coexpressed CD4 and CXCR4 (U87.CD4.CXCR4) but not in U87.CD4.CCR5 cells. Thus, the resistant virus was not able to switch to the CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) coreceptor (the main coreceptor for macrophage-tropic viruses). The SDF-1αres virus replicated in HOS.CD4 cells expressing CCR1, CCR2b, CCR3, CCR4, CCR5, and CXCR4 but also in HOS.CD4.pBABE cells. However, all HOS transfectant cells expressed a low level of CXCR4. Neither of the two virus strains was able to infect HOS.CXCR4 or HOS.CCR5 transfectants, demonstrating the necessity of the CD4 receptor. The T-cell-line-tropic SDF-1αres virus was thus able to overcome the inhibitory effect of SDF-1α through mutations in gp120 but still needed CXCR4 to enter the cells.
PMCID: PMC109631  PMID: 9557691
4.  Enhanced Inhibition of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 by Met-Stromal-Derived Factor 1β Correlates with Down-Modulation of CXCR4 
Journal of Virology  1999;73(6):4582-4589.
CXCR4 is a chemokine receptor used by some strains of HIV-1 as an entry coreceptor in association with cell surface CD4 on human cells. In human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals, the appearance of viral isolates with a tropism for CXCR4 (T tropic) has been correlated with late disease progression. The presumed natural ligands for CXCR4 are SDF-1α and SDF-1β, which are proposed to play a role in blocking T-tropic HIV-1 cell entry. Here, we demonstrate that addition of an N-terminal methionine residue to SDF-1β (Met-SDF-1β) results in a dramatically enhanced functional activity compared to that of native SDF-1β. Equivalent concentrations of Met-SDF-1β are markedly more inhibitory for T-tropic HIV-1 replication than SDF-1β. A comparison of the biological activities of these two forms of SDF-1β reveals that Met-SDF-1β induces a more pronounced intracellular calcium flux yet binds with slightly lower affinity to CXCR4 than SDF-1β. Down-modulation of CXCR4 is similar after exposure of cells to either chemokine form for 2 h. However, after a 48-h incubation, the surface expression of CXCR4 is much lower for cells treated with Met-SDF-1β. The enhanced blocking of T-tropic HIV-1 by Met-SDF-1β appears to be related to prolonged CXCR4 down-modulation.
PMCID: PMC112499  PMID: 10233917
5.  SDF1 Gene Variation Is Associated with Circulating SDF1α Level and Endothelial Progenitor Cell Number–The Bruneck Study 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(12):e4061.
Stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF1) and its receptor CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) play a critical role in progenitor cell homing, mobilization and differentiation. It would be interesting to assess the predictive value of SDF-1alpha level for EPC number, and to ascertain whether there is a relationship between SDF1 gene variation, plasma SDF-1alpha level, and the number and function of circulating EPCs. We also tested whether EPC number and function was related to CXCR4 gene variation.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We genotyped a cohort of individuals who participated in the Bruneck Study for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the SDF1 and CXCR4 genes, and measured blood SDF1α level as well as EPC number and function. SDF1α levels were correlated with age, gender, alcohol consumption, circulating reticulocyte numbers, and concentrations of matrix metalloproteinase-9, C-reactive protein, cystatin C, fibrinogen and homocytein. In blood samples taken in 2005, EPC number was inversely associated with SDF1α level (p<0.001). EPC number in 2005 was also inversely associated with SDF1α level in 2000 (p = 0.009), suggesting a predictive value of plasma SDF1α level for EPC number. There was an association between the SDF1 gene rs2297630 SNP A/A genotype, increased SDF1α level (p = 0.002) and lower EPC number (p = 0.006).
Our data indicate that a SDF1 gene variation (rs2297630) has an influence on SDF1α level and circulating EPC number, and that plasma SDF1α level is a predictor of EPC number.
PMCID: PMC2605263  PMID: 19115008
6.  Identification of CXCR4 Domains That Support Coreceptor and Chemokine Receptor Functions 
Journal of Virology  1999;73(4):2752-2761.
The interaction of the chemokine stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) with its receptor CXCR4 is vital for cell trafficking during development, is capable of inhibiting human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) utilization of CXCR4 as a coreceptor, and has been implicated in delaying disease progression to AIDS in vivo. Because of the importance of this chemokine-chemokine receptor pair to both development and disease, we investigated the molecular basis of the interaction between CXCR4 and its ligands SDF-1 and HIV-1 envelope. Using CXCR4 chimeras and mutants, we determined that SDF-1 requires the CXCR4 amino terminus for binding and activates downstream signaling pathways by interacting with the second extracellular loop of CXCR4. SDF-1-mediated activation of CXCR4 required the Asp-Arg-Tyr motif in the second intracellular loop of CXCR4, was pertussis toxin sensitive, and did not require the distal C-terminal tail of CXCR4. Several CXCR4 mutants that were not capable of binding SDF-1 or signaling still supported HIV-1 infection, indicating that the ability of CXCR4 to function as a coreceptor is independent of its ability to signal. Direct binding studies using the X4 gp120s HXB, BH8, and MN demonstrated the ability of HIV-1 gp120 to bind directly and specifically to the chemokine receptor CXCR4 in a CD4-dependent manner, using a conformationally complex structure on CXCR4. Several CXCR4 variants that did not support binding of soluble gp120 could still function as viral coreceptors, indicating that detectable binding of monomeric gp120 is not always predictive of coreceptor function.
PMCID: PMC104032  PMID: 10074122
7.  Distribution of CCR5-Delta32, CCR5 promoter 59029 A/G, CCR2-64I and SDF1-3’A genetic polymorphisms in HIV-1 infected and uninfected patients in the West Region of Cameroon 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:288.
Genetic variants of the genes encoding Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) co-receptors and their ligands, like CC-Chemokine Receptor 5 delta 32 mutation (CCR5-Delta32), CCR5 promoter A/G (Adenine/Guanine), CC-Chemokine Receptor 2 mutation 64 isoleucine (CCR2-64I) and the Stromal cell-derived Factor 3’A mutation (SDF1-3’A), are involved in the susceptibility to HIV-1 infection and progression. The prevalence of these mutations varies by Region. However, little is known about their distribution in the population of Dschang, located in the West Region of Cameroon. The prevalence of HIV in the West Region of Cameroon is lower than elsewhere in Cameroon. The objectives of this study were to determine the distribution of four AIDS Related Gene (ARG) variants in HIV-infected and non-infected population of Cameroon especially in the West Region and to estimate the contribution of these variants to the susceptibility or resistance to HIV infection. We also aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of genotyping using dried blood spot (DBS) samples.
A total of 179 participants were recruited from two hospitals in Dschang in the West Region of Cameroon. Their genotypes for CCR5-Delta32, CCR5 promoter 59029A/G, CCR2-64I and SDF1-3’A were analyzed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphisms.
A total of 179 participants were enrolled in the study. Among them, 32 (17.9%) were HIV positive and 147 (82.1%) were HIV negative. The allelic frequencies of these genes were: 0%, 49.72%, 17.6% and 100% respectively for CCR5-Delta32, CCR5 promoter 59029A/G, CCR2-64I and SDF1-3’A. No individual was found to carry the CCR5-Delta 32 mutation. All participants recruited were heterozygous for the SDF1-3’A allele.
Our data suggest that the CCR5-Delta32 cannot account for the protection as it was completely absent in our population. SDF1-3’A variants, may be in association with other polymorphisms, may account for the overall protection from HIV-1 infection in participants recruited as everyone carries this allele. The CCR5 promoter 59029 G/G genotype may be associated with the risk for HIV-1 infection in this population, while the CCR2-64I (A/A genotype) may account for the protection against HIV infection. The results of genotyping from fresh blood and DBS were comparable.
PMCID: PMC3733889  PMID: 23880174
HIV; AIDS related gene variants; Allelic frequency; Cameroon
8.  Phorbol Esters and SDF-1 Induce Rapid Endocytosis and Down Modulation of the Chemokine Receptor CXCR4  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1997;139(3):651-664.
The chemokine receptor CXCR4 is required, together with CD4, for entry by some isolates of HIV-1, particularly those that emerge late in infection. The use of CXCR4 by these viruses likely has profound effects on viral host range and correlates with the evolution of immunodeficiency. Stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1), the ligand for CXCR4, can inhibit infection by CXCR4-dependent viruses. To understand the mechanism of this inhibition, we used a monoclonal antibody that is specific for CXCR4 to analyze the effects of phorbol esters and SDF-1 on surface expression of CXCR4. On human T cell lines SupT1 and BC7, CXCR4 undergoes slow constitutive internalization (1.0% of the cell surface pool/min). Addition of phorbol esters increased this endocytosis rate >6-fold and reduced cell surface CXCR4 expression by 60 to 90% over 120 min. CXCR4 was internalized through coated pits and coated vesicles and subsequently localized in endosomal compartments from where it could recycle to the cell surface after removal of the phorbol ester. SDF-1 also induced the rapid down modulation (half time ∼5 min) of CXCR4. Using mink lung epithelial cells expressing CXCR4 and a COOH-terminal deletion mutant of CXCR4, we found that an intact cytoplasmic COOH-terminal domain was required for both PMA and ligand-induced CXCR4 endocytosis. However, experiments using inhibitors of protein kinase C indicated that SDF-1 and phorbol esters trigger down modulation through different cellular mechanisms.
SDF-1 inhibited HIV-1 infection of mink cells expressing CD4 and CXCR4. The inhibition of infection was less efficient for CXCR4 lacking the COOH-terminal domain, suggesting at least in part that SDF-1 inhibition of virus infection was mediated through ligand-induced internalization of CXCR4. Significantly, ligand induced internalization of CXCR4 but not CD4, suggesting that CXCR4 and CD4 do not normally physically interact on the cell surface. Together these studies indicate that endocytosis can regulate the cell-surface expression of CXCR4 and that SDF-1–mediated down regulation of cell-surface coreceptor expression contributes to chemokine-mediated inhibition of HIV infection.
PMCID: PMC2141706  PMID: 9348282
9.  Serum levels of the chemokine CXCL13, genetic variation in CXCL13 and its receptor CXCR5, and HIV-associated non-Hodgkin B cell lymphoma risk 
CXCL13 and CXCR5 are a chemokine and receptor pair whose interaction is critical for naïve B cell trafficking and activation within germinal centers. We sought to determine whether CXCL13 levels are elevated prior to HIV-associated non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma (AIDS-NHL), and whether polymorphisms in CXCL13 or CXCR5 are associated with AIDS-NHL risk and CXCL13 levels in a large cohort of HIV-infected men.
CXCL13 levels were measured in sera from 179 AIDS-NHL cases and 179 controls at three time-points. TagSNPs in CXCL13 (n=16) and CXCR5 (n=11) were genotyped in 183 AIDS-NHL cases and 533 controls. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between one unit increase in log CXCL13 levels and AIDS-NHL, as well as tagSNP genotypes and AIDS-NHL, were computed using logistic regression. Mixed linear regression was used to estimate mean ratios (MR) for the association between tagSNPs and CXCL13 levels.
CXCL13 levels were elevated >3 years (OR=3.24, 95% CI=1.90–5.54), 1–3 years (OR=3.39, 95% CI=1.94–5.94) and 0–1 year (OR=3.94, 95% CI=1.98–7.81) prior to an AIDS-NHL diagnosis. The minor allele of CXCL13 rs355689 was associated with reduced AIDS-NHL risk (ORTCvsTT=0.65; 95% CI=0.45–0.96) and reduced CXCL13 levels (MRCCvsTT=0.82, 95% CI=0.68–0.99). The minor allele of CXCR5 rs630923 was associated with increased CXCL13 levels (MRAAvsTT=2.40, 95% CI=1.43–4.50).
CXCL13 levels were elevated preceding an AIDS-NHL diagnosis, genetic variation in CXCL13 may contribute to AIDS-NHL risk, and CXCL13 levels may be associated with genetic variation in CXCL13 and CXCR5.
CXCL13 may serve as a biomarker for early AIDS-NHL detection.
PMCID: PMC3703445  PMID: 23250934
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma; HIV; CXCL13; CXCR5; chemokine
10.  Expression of functional CXCR4 chemokine receptors on human colonic epithelial cells 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1999;104(8):1061-1069.
In addition to their role as regulators of leukocyte migration and activation, chemokines and their receptors also function in angiogenesis, growth regulation, and HIV-1 pathogenesis — effects that involve the action of chemokines on nonhematopoietic cells.To determine whether chemokine receptors are expressed in human colonic epithelium, HT-29 cells were examined by RT-PCR for the expression of the chemokine receptors for lymphotactin, fractalkine, CCR1-10, and CXCR1-5. The only receptor consistently detected was CXCR4 (fusin/LESTR), although HT-29 cells did not express mRNA for its ligand, stromal cell–derived factor (SDF-1α). Flow cytometric analysis with anti-CXCR4 antibody indicated that the CXCR4 protein was expressed on the surface of roughly half of HT-29 cells. CXCR4 was also expressed in colonic epithelial cells in vivo as shown by immunohistochemistry on biopsies from normal and inflamed human colonic mucosa. The mRNA for SDF-1α and other CC and CXC chemokines was present in normal colonic biopsies. The CXCR4 receptor in HT-29 cells was functionally coupled, as demonstrated by the elevation in [Ca2+ ]i, which occurred in response to 25 nM SDF-1α and by the SDF-1α–induced upregulation of ICAM-1 mRNA. Sodium butyrate downregulated CXCR4 expression and induced differentiation of HT-29 cells, suggesting a role for CXCR4 in maintenance and renewal of the colonic epithelium. This receptor, which also serves as a coreceptor for HIV, may mediate viral infection of colonic epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC408573  PMID: 10525044
11.  Maternal SDF1 3′A Polymorphism Is Associated with Increased Perinatal Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Transmission 
Journal of Virology  2000;74(12):5736-5739.
Genetic polymorphisms in chemokine and chemokine receptor genes influence susceptibility to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection and disease progression, but little is known regarding the association between these allelic variations and the ability of the host to transmit virus. In this study, we show that the maternal heterozygous SDF1 genotype (SDF1 3′A/wt) is associated with perinatal transmission of HIV-1 (risk ratio [RR], 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0 to 3.3) and particularly postnatal breastmilk transmission (RR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.1 to 8.6). In contrast, the infant SDF1 genotype had no effect on mother-to-infant transmission. These data suggest that SDF1, which is a ligand for the T-tropic HIV-1 coreceptor CXCR4, may affect the ability of a mother to transmit the virus to her infant. This suggests that a genetic polymorphism in a gene encoding a chemokine receptor ligand may be associated with increased infectivity of the index case and highlights the importance of considering transmission as well as clinical outcome in designing chemokine-based therapies for HIV-1.
PMCID: PMC112064  PMID: 10823884
12.  Sequential Tyrosine Sulfation of CXCR4 by Tyrosylprotein Sulfotransferases† 
Biochemistry  2008;47(43):11251-11262.
The CXC-chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) is a G protein-coupled receptor for stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1/CXCL12). SDF-1 induced CXCR4 signaling is indispensable for embryonic development and crucial for immune cell homing and has been implicated in metastasis of numerous types of cancer. CXCR4 also serves as the major coreceptor for cellular entry of T-cell line-tropic (X4) HIV-1 strains. Tyrosine residues in the N-terminal tail of CXCR4, which are post-translationally sulfated, are implicated in the high affinity binding of SDF-1 to CXCR4. However, the specific roles of three potential tyrosine sulfation sites are not well understood. We investigated the pattern and sequence of CXCR4 sulfation by using recombinant human tyrosylprotein sulfotransferases TPST-1 and TPST-2 to modify a peptide that corresponds to amino acids 1-38 of the receptor (CXCR4 1-38). We analyzed the reaction products with a combination of reversed-phase HPLC, proteolytic cleavage, and mass spectrometry. We found that CXCR4 1-38 is sulfated efficiently by both TPST enzymes, leading to a final product with three sulfotyrosine residues. Sulfates were added stepwise to the peptide producing specific intermediates with one or two sulfotyrosines. The pattern of sulfation in these intermediates indicates that with both enzymes Tyr-21 is sulfated first, followed by Tyr-12 or Tyr-7. Using heteronuclear NMR spectroscopy, we demonstrated that the SDF-1 binding affinity of CXCR4 1-38 increases with the number of sulfotyrosines present, which suggests a potential physiological role for sulfation of all three sites in the CXCR4 N-terminus. These results provide a structural basis for understanding the role of post-translational tyrosine sulfation in SDF-1 induced CXCR4 signaling.
PMCID: PMC2662774  PMID: 18834145
13.  CD4-Chemokine Receptor Hybrids in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Infection 
Journal of Virology  1999;73(9):7453-7466.
Most human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) strains require both CD4 and a chemokine receptor for entry into a host cell. In order to analyze how the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein interacts with these cellular molecules, we constructed single-molecule hybrids of CD4 and chemokine receptors and expressed these constructs in the mink cell line Mv-1-lu. The two N-terminal (2D) or all four (4D) extracellular domains of CD4 were linked to the N terminus of the chemokine receptor CXCR4. The CD4(2D)CXCR4 hybrid mediated infection by HIV-1LAI to nearly the same extent as the wild-type molecules, whereas CD4(4D)CXCR4 was less efficient. Recombinant SULAI protein competed more efficiently with the CXCR4-specific monoclonal antibody 12G5 for binding to CD4(2D)CXCR4 than for binding to CD4(4D)CXCR4. Stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) blocked HIV-1LAI infection of cells expressing CD4(2D)CXCR4 less efficiently than for cells expressing wild-type CXCR4 and CD4, whereas down-modulation of CXCR4 by SDF-1 was similar for hybrids and wild-type CXCR4. In contrast, the bicyclam AMD3100, a nonpeptide CXCR4 ligand that did not down-modulate the hybrids, blocked hybrid-mediated infection at least as potently as for wild-type CXCR4. Thus SDF-1, but not the smaller molecule AMD3100, may interfere at multiple points with the binding of the surface unit (SU)-CD4 complex to CXCR4, a mechanism that the covalent linkage of CD4 to CXCR4 impedes. Although the CD4-CXCR4 hybrids yielded enhanced SU interactions with the chemokine receptor moiety, this did not overcome the specific coreceptor requirement of different HIV-1 strains: the X4 virus HIV-1LAI and the X4R5 virus HIV-189.6, unlike the R5 strain HIV-1SF162, infected Mv-1-lu cells expressing the CD4(2D)CXCR4 hybrid, but none could use hybrids of CD4 and the chemokine receptor CCR2b, CCR5, or CXCR2. Thus single-molecule hybrid constructs that mimic receptor-coreceptor complexes can be used to dissect coreceptor function and its inhibition.
PMCID: PMC104272  PMID: 10438835
14.  CXC-Chemokine Receptor 4 Is Not a Coreceptor for Human Herpesvirus 7 Entry into CD4+ T Cells 
Journal of Virology  2000;74(4):2011-2016.
Human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) is a T-lymphotropic virus which utilizes the CD4 receptor as its main receptor to enter the target cells. Hence, HHV-7 can interfere with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in CD4+ T cells. It was recently suggested that the CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4), which was found to be a crucial coreceptor for T-tropic HIV-1 strains, may also play a role in the HHV-7 infection process. However, the results presented here demonstrate that CXCR4 is not involved in HHV-7 infection. The natural ligand of CXCR4, SDF-1α, was not able to inhibit HHV-7 infection in SupT1 cells or in CD8+ T-cell-depleted peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Also, AMD3100, a specific CXCR4 antagonist with potent antiviral activity against T-tropic HIV strains (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50], 1 to 10 ng/ml), completely failed to inhibit HHV-7 infection (IC50, >250 μg/ml). Thus, two different agents known to specifically interact with CXCR4 were not able to inhibit HHV-7 infection. Other T-lymphoid cell lines, expressing both CD4 and CXCR4 (e.g., HUT-78 and MT-4) could not be infected by HHV-7. In addition, the CD4-transfected cell lines HOS.CD4 and U87.CD4 and the CD4/CXCR4 double-transfected cell lines HOS.CD4.CXCR4 and U87.CD4.CXCR4 were not infectable with HHV-7. Also, we found no down-regulation of surface-bound or intracellular CXCR4 in HHV-7-infected CD4+ T cells. As compared to uninfected SupT1 cells, stromal cell-derived factor 1α (SDF-1α)/CXCR4-mediated intracellular calcium flux was unchanged in SupT1 cells that were acutely or persistently infected with HHV-7. All these data argue against CXCR4 as a receptor involved in the HHV-7 infection process.
PMCID: PMC111679  PMID: 10644374
15.  Distinct Functional Sites for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 and Stromal Cell-Derived Factor 1α on CXCR4 Transmembrane Helical Domains 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(20):12667-12673.
The entry of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) into the cell is initiated by the interaction of the viral surface envelope protein with two cell surface components of the target cell, CD4 and a chemokine coreceptor, usually CXCR4 or CCR5. The natural ligand of CXCR4 is stromal cell-derived factor 1α (SDF-1α). Whereas the overlap between HIV-1 and SDF-1α functional sites on the extracellular domains of CXCR4 has been well documented, it has yet to be determined whether there are sites in the transmembrane (TM) helices of CXCR4 important for HIV-1 and/or SDF-1α functions, and if such sites do exist, whether they are overlapping or distinctive for the separate functions of CXCR4. For this study, by employing alanine-scanning mutagenesis, 125I-SDF-1α competition binding, Ca2+ mobilization, and cell-cell fusion assays, we found that the mutation of many CXCR4 TM residues, including Tyr45, His79, Asp97, Pro163, Trp252, Tyr255, Asp262, Glu288, His294, and Asn298, could selectively decrease HIV-1-mediated cell fusion but not the binding activity of SDF-1α. Phe87 and Phe292, which were involved in SDF-1α binding, did not play a significant role in the coreceptor activity of CXCR4, further demonstrating the disconnection between physiological and pathological activities of CXCR4 TM domains. Our data also show that four mutations of the second extracellular loop, D182A, D187A, F189A, and P191A, could reduce HIV-1 entry without impairing either ligand binding or signaling. Taken together, our first detailed characterization of the different functional roles of CXCR4 TM domains may suggest a mechanistic basis for the discovery of new selective anti-HIV agents.
PMCID: PMC1235829  PMID: 16188969
16.  CXC chemokine receptor 4 expressed in T cells plays an important role in the development of collagen-induced arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(5):R188.
Chemokines and their receptors are potential therapeutic targets in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Among these, several studies suggested the involvement of CXC chemokine 4 (CXCR4) and its ligand CXC ligand 12 (SDF-1) in RA pathogenesis. However, the role of these molecules in T-cell function is not known completely because of embryonic lethality of Cxcr4- and Cxcl12-deficient mice. In this report, we generated T cell-specific Cxcr4-deficient mice and showed that the CXCR4 in T cells is important for the development of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA).
T cell-specific Cxcr4-deficient mice were generated by using the Cre-loxP system. Mice harboring loxP sites flanking exon 2 of the Cxcr4gene (Cxcr4flox/flox) were generated by homologous recombination and crossed with Cre transgenic mice expressing Cre recombinase under the control of Lck promoter (Cxcr4+/+/Lck-Cremice) to generate T cell-specific Cxcr4-deficient mice (Cxcr4flox/flox/Lck-Cre mice). CIA was induced by immunization with chicken type II collagen and Complete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA).
The incidence, but not the severity, of CIA was significantly reduced in Cxcr4flox/flox/Lck-Cre mice compared with Cxcr4+/+/Lck-Cre mice. We found that the expression of CXCR4 was enhanced in activated T cells, and the migration of Cxcr4-deficient T cells toward SDF-1 was severely impaired. However, antibody production, cellular proliferative response, and cytokine production on treatment with type II collagen (IIC) were normal in these knockout mice, suggesting that CXCR4 is not involved in T-helper functions. Interestingly, the proportion of CXCR4-expressing T cells was much increased in affected joints compared with that in draining lymph nodes in CIA-induced mice, and distribution of Cxcr4flox/flox/Lck-Cre mouse-derived T cells into affected joints was suppressed compared with that in Cxcr4+/+/Lck-Cre T cells.
These results indicate that CXCR4 expression in T cells is important for the development of CIA, by recruiting activated T cells toward inflammatory sites, and suggest that CXCR4 is a good target for the treatment of RA in humans.
PMCID: PMC2991023  PMID: 20939892
17.  Unique Ligand Binding Sites on CXCR4 Probed by a Chemical Biology Approach: Implications for the Design of Selective Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Inhibitors 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(24):15398-15404.
The chemokine receptor CXCR4 plays an important role as the receptor for the normal physiological function of stromal cell-derived factor 1α (SDF-1α) and the coreceptor for the entry of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) into the cell. In a recent work (S. Tian et al., J. Virol. 79:12667-12673, 2005), we found that many residues throughout CXCR4 transmembrane (TM) and extracellular loop 2 domains are specifically involved in interaction with HIV-1 gp120, as most of these sites did not play a role in either SDF-1α binding or signaling. These results provided direct experimental evidence for the distinct functional sites on CXCR4 for HIV-1 and the normal ligand SDF-1α. To further understand the CXCR4-ligand interaction and to develop new CXCR4 inhibitors to block HIV-1 entry, we have recently generated a new family of unnatural chemokines, termed synthetically and modularly modified (SMM) chemokines, derived from the native sequence of SDF-1α or viral macrophage inflammatory protein II (vMIP-II). These SMM chemokines contain various de novo-designed sequence replacements and substitutions by d-amino acids and display more enhanced CXCR4 selectivity, binding affinities, and/or anti-HIV activities than natural chemokines. Using these novel CXCR4-targeting SMM chemokines as receptor probes, we conducted ligand binding site mapping experiments on a panel of site-directed mutants of CXCR4. Here, we provide the first experimental evidence demonstrating that SMM chemokines interact with many residues on CXCR4 TM and extracellular domains that are important for HIV-1 entry, but not SDF-1α binding or signaling. The preferential overlapping in the CXCR4 binding residues of SMM chemokines with HIV-1 over SDF-1α illustrates a mechanism for the potent HIV-1 inhibition by these SMM chemokines. The discovery of distinct functional sites or conformational states influenced by these receptor sites mediating different functions of the natural ligand versus the viral or synthetic ligands has important implications for drug discovery, since the sites shared by SMM chemokines and HIV-1 but not by SDF-1α can be targeted for the development of selective HIV-1 inhibitors devoid of interference with normal SDF-1α function.
PMCID: PMC1316031  PMID: 16306611
18.  HIV Coreceptor Downregulation as Antiviral Principle: SDF-1α–dependent Internalization of the Chemokine Receptor CXCR4 Contributes to Inhibition of HIV Replication 
Ligation of CCR5 by the CC chemokines RANTES, MIP-1α or MIP-1β, and of CXCR4 by the CXC chemokine SDF-1α, profoundly inhibits the replication of HIV strains that use these coreceptors for entry into CD4+ T lymphocytes. The mechanism of entry inhibition is not known. We found a rapid and extensive downregulation of CXCR4 by SDF-1α and of CCR5 by RANTES or the antagonist RANTES(9-68). Confocal laser scanning microscopy showed that CCR5 and CXCR4, after binding to their ligands, are internalized into vesicles that qualify as early endosomes as indicated by colocalization with transferrin receptors. Internalization was not affected by treatment with Bordetella pertussis toxin, showing that it is independent of signaling via Gi-proteins. Removal of SDF-1α led to rapid, but incomplete surface reexpression of CXCR4, a process that was not inhibited by cycloheximide, suggesting that the coreceptor is recycling from the internalization pool. Deletion of the COOH-terminal, cytoplasmic domain of CXCR4 did not affect HIV entry, but prevented SDF-1α–induced receptor downregulation and decreased the potency of SDF-1α as inhibitor of HIV replication. Our results indicate that the ability of the coreceptor to internalize is not required for HIV entry, but contributes to the HIV suppressive effect of CXC and CC chemokines.
PMCID: PMC2198965  PMID: 9207008
19.  Evaluation of the combined expression of chemokine SDF-1α and its receptor CXCR4 as a prognostic marker for gastric cancer 
Chemokine stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1α and its receptor CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) have been shown to impact cancer progression. Accumulating evidence suggests that CXCR4 and SDF-1α expression is useful for evaluating the risk of gastric cancer progression. Thus, combined analysis of SDF-1α and CXCR4 should have high prognostic potential as a molecular marker for gastric cancer. We investigated the expression of SDF-1α and CXCR4 using immunohistochemistry in relation to prognosis, clinicopathological features and clinical outcomes in 221 cases of primary gastric cancer. Patients were categorized into three groups according to CXCR4 and SDF-1α expression: high CXCR4/high SDF-1α, low CXCR4/low SDF-1α, and high CXCR4/low SDF-1α – low CXCR4/high SDF-1α. No significant differences were noted in age, gender, histology, tumor location, lymphovascular invasion or proportion of tumor size >5 cm among the three groups. However, high CXCR4/high SDF-1α expression in tumor cells was significantly associated with depth of invasion of the tumor, lymph node involvement, and higher tumor stage compared to tumors with low CXCR4/low SDF-1α expression or high CXCR4/low SDF-1α – low CXCR4/high SDF-1α expression. Furthermore, patients with high CXCR4/high SDF-1α expression had the worst patient prognosis, whereas patients who had low CXCR4/low SDF-1α expression showed the most favorable prognosis. In conclusion, CXCR4 and SDF-1α are useful prognostic factors in gastric cancer, and the combination of high CXCR4 protein expression with high SDF-1α expression suggests a dismal prognosis.
PMCID: PMC3440693  PMID: 22977531
stromal cell-derived factor-1α; CXC chemokine receptor 4; gastric cancer; prognosis
20.  Replacement of the V3 Region of gp120 with SDF-1 Preserves the Infectivity of T-Cell Line-Tropic Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(9):4258-4267.
Interaction between the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope and the relevant chemokine receptors is crucial for subsequent membrane fusion and viral entry. Although the V3 region of gp120 is known to determine the cell tropism as well as the coreceptor usage, the significance of the binding of the V3 region to the chemokine receptor has not been fully understood. To address this issue, we adopted the pseudotyped virus infection assay in which the V3 region of the T-cell line-tropic (T-tropic) NL4-3 envelope was replaced with a portion of stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1), the ligand of CXCR4. The V3 region of the NL4-3 envelope expression vector was replaced with three different stretches of SDF-1 cDNA. Expression of each chimeric envelope protein was confirmed by immunoprecipitation and Western blotting. Luciferase reporter viruses were prepared by cotransfection of the pNL4-3.Luc.E−R− vector and each chimeric envelope expression vector, and the infection assay was then carried out. We showed that pseudotyped viruses with one of the chimeric envelopes, NL4-3/SDF1-51, could infect U87.CD4.CXCR4 but not U87.CD4 or U87.CXCR4 cells and that this infection was inhibited by the ligand of CXCR4, SDF-1β, by anti-human SDF-1 antibody, or by an anti-CD4 antibody, Leu3a, in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, chimeric NL4-3/SDF1-51 gp120 significantly inhibited binding of labeled SDF-1 to CXCR4. It was suggested that replacement of the V3 region of the NL4-3 envelope with SDF-1 preserved the CD4-dependent infectivity of T-tropic HIV-1. These results indicate that binding between the V3 region and the relevant coreceptor is important for viral entry, whether its amino acid sequence is indigenous to the virus or not.
PMCID: PMC114171  PMID: 11287575
21.  The Inducible CXCR3 Ligands Control Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Responsiveness to the Constitutive Chemokine Stromal Cell–derived Factor 1 (SDF-1)/CXCL12 
The recruitment of selected dendritic cell (DC) subtypes conditions the class of the immune response. Here we show that the migration of human plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs), the blood natural interferon α–producing cells, is induced upon the collective action of inducible and constitutive chemokines. Despite expression of very high levels of CXCR3, pDCs do not respond efficiently to CXCR3 ligands. However, they migrate in response to the constitutive chemokine stromal cell–derived factor 1 (SDF-1)/CXCL12 and CXCR3 ligands synergize with SDF-1/CXCL12 to induce pDC migration. This synergy reflects a sensitizing effect of CXCR3 ligands, which, independently of a gradient and chemoattraction, decrease by 20–50-fold the threshold of sensitivity to SDF-1/CXCL12. Thus, the ability of the constitutive chemokine SDF-1/CXCL12 to induce pDC recruitment might be controlled by CXCR3 ligands released during inflammation such as in virus infection. SDF-1/CXCL12 and the CXCR3 ligands Mig/CXCL9 and ITAC/CXCL1 display adjacent expression both in secondary lymphoid organs and in inflamed epithelium from virus-induced pathologic lesions. Because pDCs express both the lymph node homing molecule l-selectin and the cutaneous homing molecule cutaneous lymphocyte antigen, the cooperation between inducible CXCR3 ligands and constitutive SDF-1/CXCL12 may regulate recruitment of pDCs either in lymph nodes or at peripheral sites of inflammation.
PMCID: PMC2194187  PMID: 12953097
dendritic cells; chemokines; migration; regulation; virus
22.  Stromal Cell-Derived Factor-1β Potentiates Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2-Stimulated Osteoinduction of Genetically Engineered Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells In Vitro 
Tissue Engineering. Part A  2012;19(1-2):1-13.
Skeletal injuries are among the most prevalent clinical problems and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (BMSCs) have successfully been used for the treatment thereof. Stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1; CXCL12) is a member of the CXC chemokine family with multiple splice variants. The two most abundant variants, SDF-1α and SDF-1β, share identical amino acid sequences, except for four additional amino acids at the C-terminus of SDF-1β, which may mediate surface stabilization via glycosaminoglycans and protect SDF-1β from proteolytic cleavage, rendering it twice as potent as SDF-1α. Increasing evidence suggests that SDF-1 is involved in bone formation through regulation of recruitment, engraftment, proliferation, and differentiation of stem/progenitor cells. The underlying molecular mechanisms, however, have not yet been fully elucidated. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that SDF-1β can potentiate bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2)-stimulated osteogenic differentiation and chemotaxis of BMSCs in vitro. Utilizing retrovirus-mediated gene transfer to generate novel Tet-Off-SDF-1β BMSCs, we found that conditional SDF-1β expression is tightly regulated by doxycycline in a dose-dependent and temporal fashion, leading to significantly increased SDF-1β mRNA and protein levels. In addition, SDF-1β was found to enhance BMP-2-stimulated mineralization, mRNA and protein expression of key osteogenic markers, and regulate BMP-2 signal transduction via extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (Erk1/2) phosphorylation in genetically engineered BMSCs in vitro. We also showed that SDF-1β promotes the migratory response of CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4)-expressing BMSCs in vitro. Taken together, these data support that SDF-1β can play an important role in BMP-2-stimulated osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs and may exert its biological activity in both an autocrine and paracrine fashion.
PMCID: PMC3530941  PMID: 22779446
23.  CXCL12/CXCR4-Axis Dysfunctions: Markers of the Rare Immunodeficiency Disorder WHIM Syndrome 
Disease markers  2010;29(3-4):189-198.
The WHIM syndrome features susceptibility to human Papillomavirus infection-induced warts and carcinomas, hypogammaglobulinemia, recurrent bacterial infections, B and T-cell lymphopenia, and neutropenia associated with retention of senescent neutrophils in the bone marrow (i.e. myelokathexis). This rare disorder is mostly linked to inherited heterozygous autosomal dominant mutations in the gene encoding CXCR4, a G protein coupled receptor with a unique ligand, the chemokine CXCL12/SDF-1. Some individuals who have full clinical forms of the syndrome carry a wild type CXCR4 gene. In spite of this genetic heterogeneity, leukocytes from WHIM patients share in common dysfunctions of the CXCR4-mediated signaling pathway upon exposure to CXCL12. Dysfunctions are characterized by impaired desensitization and receptor internalization, which are associated with enhanced responses to the chemokine. Our increasing understanding of the mechanisms that account for the aberrant CXCL12/CXCR4-mediated responses is beginning to provide insight into the pathogenesis of the disorder. As a result we can expect to identify markers of the WHIM syndrome, as well as other disorders with WHIM-like features that are associated with dysfunctions of the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis.
PMCID: PMC3835381  PMID: 21178277
24.  Proteolytic processing of SDF-1α by matrix metalloproteinase-2 impairs CXCR4 signaling and reduces neural progenitor cell migration 
Protein & cell  2012;3(11):875-882.
Neural stem cells and neural progenitor cells (NPCs) exist throughout life and are mobilized to replace neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes after injury. Stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1, now named CXCL12) and its receptor CXCR4, an α-chemokine receptor, are critical for NPC migration into damaged areas of the brain. Our previous studies demonstrated that immune activated and/or HIV-1-infected human monocyte-derived- macrophages (MDMs) induced a substantial increase of SDF-1 production by human astrocytes. However, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, a protein up-regulated in HIV-1-infected macrophages, is able to cleave four amino acids from the N-terminus of SDF-1, resulting in a truncated SDF-1(5–67). In this study, we investigate the diverse signaling and function induced by SDF-1α and SDF-1(5–67) in human cortical NPCs. SDF-1(5–67) was generated by incubating human recombinant SDF-1α with MMP-2 followed by protein determination via mass spectrometry, Western blotting and ELISA. SDF-1α induced time-dependent phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) 1/2, Akt-1, and diminished cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). In contrast, SDF-1(5–67) failed to induce these signaling. SDF-1α activation of CXCR4 induced migration of NPCs, an effect that is dependent on ERK1/2 and Akt-1 pathways; whereas SDF-1(5–67) failed to induce NPC migration. This observation provides evidence that MMP-2 may affect NPC migration through post-translational processing of SDF-1α.
PMCID: PMC3973535  PMID: 23143873
proteolysis; chemokine; neurogenesis; migration
25.  HIV Infection and Host Genetic Mutation among Injecting Drug-users of Northeastern States of India 
A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among injecting drug-users (IDUs) of the northeastern states of India to understand the host genetic factors that confer resistance to HIV infection. The study aimed at assessing the existence and magnitude of genetic mutations of chemokine receptors, such as CCR2-64I, CCR-5 D-32, and SDF-1-3‘A, that are known to confer resistance to HIV infection and progression of disease in some set-ups. In total, 711 IDUs from Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Meghalaya were sampled for the study. The selected participants were interviewed to study their sociodemography, risk behaviours, and risk perceptions after obtaining their verbal informed consent. The interview was followed by collection of about 5 mL of blood samples by an unlinked anonymous method for studying genetic mutation and HIV infection. All the blood samples were transported to and processed at the clinical medicine laboratory of the National Institute of Cholera & Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, India. The genetic mutations were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assay techniques. The study revealed that 328 (46.1%) IDUs were aged 20–29 years, 305 (42.9%) were aged 30–39 years, and only two (0.3%) were aged above 49 years. The rate of HIV seropositivity varied widely among the IDUs living in different northeastern states that ranged from 4.5% to 61%. There was not a single IDU with CCR5 homozygous mutation. Mutated genes of CCR2-64I and SDF-1-3'A were detected in the frequencies of 49% and 23% respectively in them. The rate of HIV seropositivity in IDUs having CCR2 mutant gene was 27% (n=94) and without mutation was 27% (n=98). Similarly, HIV seropositivity in IDUs with and without SDF1 mutation was 28% (n=46) and 27% (n=146) respectively. Both the differences were not statistically significant. A CCR5 homozygous mutation is known to be the most prominent marker that confers resistance against HIV infection. The absence of CCR5 mutant gene in this population suggests that they do not have any additional protection against HIV infection. Analysis also revealed that, although mutation of CCR2 and SDF1 was present in this population, it did not confer any additional resistance against HIV. This indicates that the IDUs of northeastern India are not additionally protected against HIV infection through genetic mutation and are, therefore, vulnerable to acquire HIV infection due to high-risk behaviour and other related factors.
PMCID: PMC2980874  PMID: 20411675
Community-based studies; Cross-sectional studies; Genetic mutation; HIV infections; Sexually transmitted diseases; Substrance-use; India

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