There are natural mutations in the coding and noncoding regions of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) CC-chemokine coreceptor 5 (CCR5) and in the related CCR2 protein (the CCR2-64I mutation). Individuals homozygous for the CCR5-Δ32 allele, which prevents CCR5 expression, strongly resist HIV-1 infection. Several genetic polymorphisms have been identified within the CCR5 5′ regulatory region, some of which influence the rate of disease progression in adult AIDS study cohorts. We genotyped 1,442 infants (1,235 uninfected and 207 HIV-1 infected) for five CCR5 and CCR2 polymorphisms: CCR5-59353-T/C, CCR5-59356-C/T CCR5-59402-A/G, CCR5-Δ32, and CCR2-64I. The clinical significance of each genotype was assessed by measuring whether it influenced the rate of perinatal HIV-1 transmission among 667 AZT-untreated mother-infant pairs (554 uninfected and 113 HIV-1 infected). We found that the mutant CCR5-59356-T allele is relatively common in African-Americans (20.6% allele frequency among 552 infants) and rare in Caucasians and Hispanics (3.4 and 5.6% of 174 and 458 infants, respectively; P < 0.001). There were 38 infants homozygous for CCR5-59356-T, of whom 35 were African-Americans. Among the African-American infants in the AZT-untreated group, there was a highly significant increase in HIV-1 transmission to infants with two mutant CCR5-59356-T alleles (47.6% of 21), compared to those with no or one mutant allele (13.4 to 14.1% of 187 and 71, respectively; P < 0.001). The increased relative risk was 5.9 (95% confidence interval, 2.3 to 15.3; P < 0.001). The frequency of the CCR5-59356-T mutation varies between population groups in the United States, a low frequency occurring in Caucasians and a higher frequency occurring in African-Americans. Homozygosity for CCR5-59356-T is strongly associated with an increased rate of perinatal HIV-1 transmission.
A polymorphism in the gene encoding CCR2 is associated with a delay in progression to AIDS in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals. The polymorphism, CCR2-64I, changes valine 64 of CCR2 to isoleucine. However, it is not clear whether the effect on AIDS progression results from the amino acid change or whether the polymorphism marks a genetically linked, yet unidentified mutation that mediates the effect. Because the gene encoding CCR5, the major coreceptor for HIV type 1 primary isolates, lies 15 kb 3′ to CCR2, linked mutations in the CCR5 promoter or other regulatory sequences could explain the association of CCR2-64I with slowed AIDS pathogenesis. Here, we show that CCR2-64I is efficiently expressed on the cell surface but does not have dominant negative activity on CCR5 coreceptor function. A panel of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from uninfected donors representing the various CCR5/CCR2 genotypes was assembled. Activated primary CD4+ T cells of CCR2 64I/64I donors expressed cell surface CCR5 at levels comparable to those of CCR2 +/+ donors. A slight reduction in CCR5 expression was noted, although this was not statistically significant. CCR5 and CCR2 mRNA levels were nearly identical for each of the donor PBMC, regardless of genotype. Cell surface CCR5 and CCR2 levels were more variable than mRNA transcript levels, suggesting that an alternative mechanism may influence CCR5 cell surface levels. CCR2-64I is linked to the CCR5 promoter polymorphisms 208G, 303A, 627C, and 676A; however, in transfected promoter reporter constructs, these did not affect transcriptional activity. Taken together, these findings suggest that CCR2-64I does not act by influencing CCR5 transcription or mRNA levels.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subtype C (C-HIV) is spreading rapidly and is now responsible for >50% of HIV-1 infections worldwide, and >95% of infections in southern Africa and central Asia. These regions are burdened with the overwhelming majority of HIV-1 infections, yet we know very little about the pathogenesis of C-HIV. In addition to CCR5 and CXCR4, the HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins (Env) may engage a variety of alternative coreceptors for entry into transfected cells. Whilst alternative coreceptors do not appear to have a broad role in mediating the entry of HIV-1 into primary cells, characterizing patterns of alternative coreceptor usage in vitro can provide valuable insights into mechanisms of Env-coreceptor engagement that may be important for HIV-1 pathogenesis.
Here, we characterized the ability of luciferase reporter viruses pseudotyped with HIV-1 Envs (n = 300) cloned sequentially from plasma of 21 antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naïve subjects experiencing progression from chronic to advanced C-HIV infection over an approximately 3-year period, who either exclusively maintained CCR5-using (R5) variants (n = 20 subjects) or who experienced a coreceptor switch to CXCR4-using (X4) variants (n = 1 subject), to utilize alternative coreceptors for entry. At a population level, CCR5 usage by R5 C-HIV Envs was strongly linked to usage of FPRL1, CCR3 and CCR8 as alternative coreceptors, with the linkages to FPRL1 and CCR3 usage becoming statistically more robust as infection progressed from chronic to advanced stages of disease. In contrast, acquisition of an X4 Env phenotype at advanced infection was accompanied by a dramatic loss of FPRL1 usage. Env mutagenesis studies confirmed a direct link between CCR5 and FPRL1 usage, and showed that the V3 loop crown, but not other V3 determinants of CCR5-specificity, was the principal Env determinant governing the ability of R5 C-HIV Envs from one particular subject to engage FPRL1.
Our results suggest that, in the absence of coreceptor switching, the ability of R5 C-HIV viruses to engage certain alternative coreceptors in vitro, in particular FPRL1, may reflect an altered use of CCR5 that is selected for during progressive C-HIV infection, and which may contribute to C-HIV pathogenicity.
HIV-1; Env; Subtype C; CCR5; CXCR4; Alternative coreceptor; Pathogenesis
BACKGROUND: CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) is a cell entry cofactor for macrophage-tropic isolates of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1). Recently, an inactive CCR5 allele (designated here as CCR5-2) was identified that confers resistance to HIV-1 infection in homozygotes and slows the rate of progression to AIDS in heterozygotes. The reports conflict on the effect of heterozygous CCR5-2 on HIV-1 susceptibility, and race and risk levels have not yet been fully analyzed. Here we report our independent identification of CCR5-2 and test its effects on HIV-1 pathogenesis in individuals with contrasting clinical outcomes, defined race, and quantified risk. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Mutant CCR5 alleles were sought by directed heteroduplex analysis of genomic DNA from random blood donors. Genotypic frequencies were then determined in (1) random blood donors from North America, Asia, and Africa; (2) HIV-1+ individuals; and (3) highly exposed-seronegative homosexuals with quantified risk. RESULTS: CCR5-2 was the only mutant allele found. It was common in Caucasians, less common in other North American racial groups, and not detected in West Africans or Tamil Indians. Homozygous CCR5-2 frequencies differed reciprocally in highly exposed-seronegative (4.5%, n = 111) and HIV-1-seropositive (0%, n = 614) Caucasians relative to Caucasian random blood donors (0.8%, n = 387). This difference was highly significant (p < 0.0001). By contrast, heterozygous CCR5-2 frequencies did not differ significantly in the same three groups (21.6, 22.6, and 21.7%, respectively). A 55% increase in the frequency of heterozygous CCR5-2 was observed in both of two cohorts of Caucasian homosexual male, long-term nonprogressors compared with other HIV-1+ Caucasian homosexuals (p = 0.006) and compared with Caucasian random blood donors. Moreover, Kaplan-Meier estimates indicated that CCR5-2 heterozygous seroconvertors had a 52.6% lower risk of developing AIDS than homozygous wild-type seroconvertors. CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that homozygous CCR5-2 is an HIV-1 resistance factor in Caucasians with complete penetrance, and that heterozygous CCR5-2 slows the rate of disease progression in infected Caucasian homosexuals. Since the majority (approximately 96%) of highly exposed-seronegative individuals tested are not homozygous for CCR5-2, other resistance factors must exist. Since CCR5-2 homozygotes have no obvious clinical problems, CCR5 may be a good target for the development of novel antiretroviral therapy.
CCR5, a receptor for the CC chemokines RANTES, Mip1alpha, and Mip1beta, has been identified as a coreceptor for infections by macrophage-tropic isolates of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). To study its structure and function, we isolated cDNA clones of human, African green monkey (AGM), and NIH/Swiss mouse CCR5s, and we quantitatively analyzed infections by macrophage-tropic HIV-1 and SIVmac251 after transfecting human HeLa-CD4 cells with the CCR5 expression vectors. The AGM and NIH/Swiss mouse CCR5 proteins are 97.7 to 98.3% and 79.8% identical to the human protein, respectively. In addition, we analyzed site-directed mutants and chimeras of these CCR5s. Cell surface expression of CCR5 proteins was monitored by using a specific rabbit antiserum and by binding the chemokine [125I]Mip1beta. Our major results were as follows. (i) Two distinct AGM CCR5 sequences were reproducibly found in DNA from CV-1 cells. The AGM clone 1 CCR5 protein differs from that of clone 2 by two substitutions, Y14N in the amino-terminal extracellular region and L352F at the carboxyl terminus. Interestingly, AGM clone 1 CCR5 was inactive as a coreceptor for all tested macrophage-tropic isolates of HIV-1, whereas AGM clone 2 CCR5 was active. As shown by chimera studies and site-directed mutagenesis, the Y14N substitution in AGM clone 1 CCR5 was solely responsible for blocking HIV-1 infections. In contrast, both AGM CCR5 clones were active coreceptors for SIVmac251. Studies of DNA samples from other AGMs indicated frequent additional CCR5 polymorphisms, and we cloned an AGM clone 2 variant with a Q93R substitution in the extracellular loop 1 from one heterozygote. This variant CCR5 was active as a coreceptor for SIVmac251 but was only weakly active for macrophage-tropic isolates of HIV-1. In addition, SIVmac251 appeared to be dependent on the extracellular amino terminus and loop 2 regions of human CCR5 for maximal infection. Our results suggest major differences in the interactions of SIVmac251 and macrophage-tropic HIV-1 isolates with 19, N13, and Y14 in the amino terminus; with Q93 in extracellular loop 1; and with extracellular loop 2 of human CCR5. (ii) The NIH/Swiss mouse CCR5 protein differs at multiple positions from sequences recently reported for other inbred strains of mice. This CCR5 was inactive as a coreceptor for HIV-1 and SIVmac251. Studies of chimeras that contained different portions of NIH/Swiss mouse CCR5 substituted into human CCR5, as well as the reciprocal chimeras, indicated that the amino-terminal region and extracellular loops 1 and 2 of human CCR5 contribute to its coreceptor activity for macrophage-tropic isolates of HIV-1. Specific differences with previous CCR5 chimera results occurred because the NIH/Swiss mouse CCR5 contains a unique substitution corresponding to P183L in extracellular loop 2 that is nonpermissive for coreceptor activity. We conclude that diverse CCR5 sequences occur in AGMs and mice, that SIVmac251 and macrophage-tropic HIV-1 isolates interact differently with specific CCR5 amino acids, and that multiple regions of human CCR5 contribute to its coreceptor functions. In addition, we have identified naturally occurring amino acid polymorphisms in three extracellular regions of CCR5 (Y14N, Q93R, and P183L) that do not interfere with cell surface expression or Mip1beta binding but prevent infections by macrophage-tropic isolates of HIV-1. In contrast to previous evidence, these results suggest that CCR5 contains critical sites that are essential for HIV-1 infections.
The chemokine receptors CCR5 and CXCR4 are used by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in conjunction with CD4 to infect cells. In addition, some virus strains can use alternative chemokine receptors, including CCR2b and CCR3, for infection. A polymorphism in CCR2 (CCR2-V64I) is associated with a 2- to 4-year delay in the progression to AIDS. To investigate the mechanism of this protective effect, we studied the expression of CCR2b and CCR2b-V64I, their chemokine and HIV-1 coreceptor activities, and their effects on the expression and receptor activities of the major HIV-1 coreceptors. CCR2b and CCR2b-V64I were expressed at similar levels, and neither molecule affected the expression or coreceptor activity of CCR3, CCR5, or CXCR4 in cotransfected cell lines. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from CCR2-V64I heterozygotes had normal levels of CCR2b and CCR5 but slightly reduced levels of CXCR4. CCR2b and CCR2b-V64I functioned equally well as HIV-1 coreceptors, and CCR2-V64I PBMCs were permissive for HIV-1 infection regardless of viral tropism. The MCP-1-induced calcium mobilization mediated by CCR2b signaling was unaffected by the polymorphism, but MCP-1 signaling mediated by either CCR2b- or CCR2-V64I-encoded receptors resulted in heterologous desensitization (i.e., limiting the signal response of other receptors) of both CCR5 and CXCR4. The heterologous desensitization of CCR5 and CXCR4 signaling by both CCR2 allele receptor types provides a mechanistic link that might help explain the in vivo effects of CCR2 gene variants on progression to AIDS as well as the reported antiviral activity of natural CCR2 ligands.
Though potent anti-HIV therapy has spectacularly reduced the morbidity and mortality of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection in the advanced countries, it continues to be associated with substantial toxicity, drug-drug interactions, difficulties in adherence, and abnormal cost. As a result, better effective, safe antiretroviral drugs and treatment strategies keep on to be pursued. In this process, CCR5 (chemokine receptor 5) inhibitors are a new class of antiretroviral drug used in the treatment of HIV. They are designed to prevent HIV infection of CD4 T-cells by blocking the CCR5. When the CCR5 receptor is unavailable, ‘R5-tropic’ HIV (the variant of the virus that is common in earlier HIV infection) cannot engage with a CD4 T-cell to infect the cell. In August 2007, the FDA approved the first chemokine (C-C motif) CCR5 inhibitor, maraviroc, for treatment-experienced patients infected with R5-using virus. Studies from different cohort in regions, affected by clad B HIV-1, demonstrate that 81-88% of HIV-1 variants in treatment naïve patients are CCR5 tropic and that virtually all the remaining variants are dual/mixed tropic i.e., are able to utilize both CCR5 and CXCR4 coreceptors. In treatment experienced patients, 49–78% of the variants are purely CCR5 tropic, 22–48% are dual/mixed tropic, and 2-5% exclusively utilize CXCR4. A 32 bp deletion in the CCR5 gene, which results in a frame shift and truncation of the normal CCR5 protein, was identified in a few persons who had remained uninfected after exposure to CCR5 tropic HIV-1 virus. This allele is common in white of European origin, with prevalence near to 10%, but is absent among East Asian, American Indian, Tamil Indian, and African ethnic groups. HIV-infected individuals, who are heterozygous for CCR5 delta 32, have slower rates of disease progression. The currently available data supports the continuation of the development of CCR5 antagonists in different settings related to HIV-1 infection. If safety issues do not emerge, these compounds could be positioned for use from very early stage of HIV infection to salvage strategies that would be an emerging therapeutic novel strategy for HIV/AIDS patients.
aeR5-tropicae; CCR5 inhibitors; CXCR4 coreceptors
Chromosome 3p21–22 harbors two clusters of chemokine receptor genes, several of which serve as major or minor coreceptors of HIV-1. Although the genetic association of CCR5 and CCR2 variants with HIV-1 pathogenesis is well known, the role of variation in other nearby chemokine receptor genes remain unresolved. We genotyped exonic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in chemokine receptor genes: CCR3, CCRL2, and CXCR6 (at 3p21) and CCR8 and CX3CR1 (at 3p22), the majority of which were non-synonymous. The individual SNPs were tested for their effects on disease progression and outcomes in five treatment-naïve HIV-1/AIDS natural history cohorts. In addition to the known CCR5 and CCR2 associations, significant associations were identified for CCR3, CCR8, and CCRL2 on progression to AIDS. A multivariate survival analysis pointed to a previously undetected association of a non-conservative amino acid change F167Y in CCRL2 with AIDS progression: 167F is associated with accelerated progression to AIDS (RH = 1.90, P = 0.002, corrected). Further analysis indicated that CCRL2-167F was specifically associated with more rapid development of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) (RH = 2.84, 95% CI 1.28–6.31) among four major AIDS–defining conditions. Considering the newly defined role of CCRL2 in lung dendritic cell trafficking, this atypical chemokine receptor may affect PCP through immune regulation and inducing inflammation.
Human chemokine receptors are cell surface proteins that may be utilized by HIV-1 for entry into host cells. DNA variation in the HIV-1 major coreceptor CCR5 affects HIV-1 infection and progression. This study comprehensively assesses the role of genetic variation of multiple chemokine receptor genes clustered in the chromosome 3p21 and 3p22 on HIV-1 disease outcomes in HIV-1 natural history cohorts. The multivariate survival analyses identified functional variants that altered disease progression rate in CCRL2, CCR3, and CCR8. CCRL2-F167Y affects the rate to AIDS development through a specific protection against pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), a common AIDS–defining condition. Our study identified this atypical chemokine receptor CCRL2 as a key factor involved in PCP, possibly through inducing inflammation in the lung.
The correlation among the presence of a 32-bp deletion in the CC-chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) gene, disease progression, and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-specific immune responses was analyzed for a cohort of 79 Caucasian HIV-1-infected patients. The CCR5 genotype (CCR5/CCR5 = wild type/wild type or Δ32CCR5/CCR5 = 32-bp deletion/wild type) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells was determined by PCR, followed by sequencing of both wild-type and Δ32CCR5 gene fragments. HIV-1-specific humoral responses to gp41 and V3MN peptides were determined by enzyme immunoassays. The prevalence of the Δ32CCR5 allele was lower among 37 patients with rapid progression (progression to AIDS or to a CD4 cell count of <200 × 106/liter in less than 9 years; P < 0.01) compared to that for 42 patients with slow progression (no AIDS and CD4 cell count of >200 × 106/liter after at least 9 years from infection) or to that for 25 non-HIV-1-infected Swedish blood donors (P < 0.05). No differences were observed in the wild-type CCR5 sequences between the different groups of patients. For three analyzed patients, the 32-bp Δ32CCR5 gene deletions were identical. The antibody titers against gp41 and a V3MN peptide in patients with the Δ32CCR5/CCR5 genotype were not significantly different from those in pair-matched CCR5/CCR5 controls. However, in 13 analyzed patients, a stronger serum neutralizing activity was associated with the Δ32CCR5/CCR5 genotype. Thus, a CCR5/CCR5 genotype correlates with a shortened AIDS-free HIV-1 infection period and possibly with a worse neutralizing activity, without an evident influence on the antibody response to two major antigenic regions of HIV-1 envelope.
In contrast to HIV infection in humans and SIV in macaques, SIV infection of natural hosts including sooty mangabeys (SM) is non-pathogenic despite robust virus replication. We identified a novel SM CCR5 allele containing a two base pair deletion (Δ2) encoding a truncated molecule that is not expressed on the cell surface and does not support SIV entry in vitro. The allele was present at a 26% frequency in a large SM colony, along with 3% for a CCR5Δ24 deletion allele that also abrogates surface expression. Overall, 8% of animals were homozygous for defective CCR5 alleles and 41% were heterozygous. The mutant allele was also present in wild SM in West Africa. CD8+ and CD4+ T cells displayed a gradient of CCR5 expression across genotype groups, which was highly significant for CD8+ cells. Remarkably, the prevalence of natural SIVsmm infection was not significantly different in animals lacking functional CCR5 compared to heterozygous and homozygous wild-type animals. Furthermore, animals lacking functional CCR5 had robust plasma viral loads, which were only modestly lower than wild-type animals. SIVsmm primary isolates infected both homozygous mutant and wild-type PBMC in a CCR5-independent manner in vitro, and Envs from both CCR5-null and wild-type infected animals used CXCR6, GPR15 and GPR1 in addition to CCR5 in transfected cells. These data clearly indicate that SIVsmm relies on CCR5-independent entry pathways in SM that are homozygous for defective CCR5 alleles and, while the extent of alternative coreceptor use in SM with CCR5 wild type alleles is uncertain, strongly suggest that SIVsmm tropism and host cell targeting in vivo is defined by the distribution and use of alternative entry pathways in addition to CCR5. SIVsmm entry through alternative pathways in vivo raises the possibility of novel CCR5-negative target cells that may be more expendable than CCR5+ cells and enable the virus to replicate efficiently without causing disease in the face of extremely restricted CCR5 expression seen in SM and several other natural host species.
SIV causes AIDS in macaques, like HIV-1 does in humans, but not in its natural host species such as sooty mangabeys (SM). It is therefore important to understand infection in natural hosts, including the mechanisms and cellular targets of infection. SIV replication in SM is thought to exclusively use CCR5 as its entry coreceptor, which mediates viral entry in conjunction with CD4 and is the main determinant of target cell tropism. However, other molecules also function as SIV coreceptors in vitro. We discovered that inactivating mutations in the CCR5 gene are common among SM and, furthermore, homozygous mutant animals lacking functional CCR5 still become infected and have high viral loads. Ex vivo, SM lymphocytes can be infected independently of CCR5, and several alternative entry coreceptors are used by SIV from both CCR5+ and CCR5-null animals. Thus, SIV infection in SM is mediated by other coreceptors in addition to CCR5, suggesting that these molecules together may determine tropism and cell targeting in vivo. These results provide new insight into an important model of nonpathogenic natural host infection, and identify a novel role for alternative entry pathways suggesting a potentially broader range of target cells in vivo than currently recognized.
Cervical cancer, caused by specific oncogenic types of human papillomavirus (HPV), is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. A large number of young sexually active women get infected by HPV but only a small fraction of them have persistent infection and develop cervical cancer pointing to co- factors including host genetics that might play a role in outcome of the HPV infection. This study investigated the role of CCR2-V64I polymorphism in cervical cancer, pre-cancers and HPV infection in South African women resident in Western Cape. CCR2-V64I polymorphism has been previously reported to influence the progression to cervical cancer in some populations and has also been associated with decreased progression from HIV infection to AIDS.
Genotyping for CCR2-V64I was done by PCR-SSP in a case-control study of 446 women (106 black African and 340 mixed-ancestry) with histologically confirmed invasive cervical cancer and 1432 controls (322 black African and 1110 mixed-ancestry) group-matched (1:3) by age, ethnicity and domicile status. In the control women HPV was detected using the Digene Hybrid Capture II test and cervical disease was detected by cervical cytology.
The CCR2-64I variant was significantly associated with cervical cancer when cases were compared to the control group (P = 0.001). Further analysis comparing selected groups within the controls showed that individuals with abnormal cytology and high grade squamous intraepitleial neoplasia (HSIL) did not have this association when compared to women with normal cytology. HPV infection also showed no association with CCR2-64I variant. Comparing SIL positive controls with the cases showed a significant association of CCR2-64I variant (P = 0.001) with cervical cancer.
This is the first study of the role of CCR2-V64I polymorphism in cervical cancer in an African population. Our results show that CCR2-64I variant is associated with the risk of cervical cancer but does not affect the susceptibility to HPV infection or HSIL in South African women of black and mixed-ancestry origin. This result implies that the role of CCR2 is important in invasive cancer of the cervix but not in HPV infection or in the development of pre-cancers.
Several members of the seven-transmembrane chemokine receptor family have been shown to serve, with CD4, as coreceptors for entry by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). While coreceptor usage by HIV-1 primary isolates has been studied by several groups, there is only limited information available concerning coreceptor usage by primary HIV-2 isolates. In this study, we have analyzed coreceptor usage of 15 primary HIV-2 isolates, using lymphocytes from a donor with nonfunctional CCR5 (CCR5 −/−; homozygous 32-bp deletion). Based on the infections of PBMCs, seven of these primary isolates had an absolute requirement for CCR5 expression, whereas the remaining eight exhibited a broader coreceptor usage. All CCR5-requiring isolates were non-syncytium inducing, whereas isolates utilizing multiple coreceptors were syncytium inducing. Blocking experiments using known ligands for chemokine receptors provided indirect evidence for additional coreceptor utilization by primary HIV-2 isolates. Analysis of GHOST4 cell lines expressing various chemokine receptors (CCR1, CCR2b, CCR3, CCR4, CCR5, CXCR4, BONZO, and BOB) further defined specific coreceptor usage of primary HIV-2 isolates. The receptors used included CXCR4, CCR1-5, and the recently described receptors BONZO and BOB. However, the efficiency at which the coreceptors were utilized varied greatly among the various isolates. Analysis of V3 envelope sequences revealed no specific motif that correlated with coreceptor usage. Our data demonstrate that primary HIV-2 isolates are capable of using a broad range of coreceptors for productive infection in vitro. Additionally, our data suggest that expanded coreceptor usage by HIV-2 may correlate with disease progression.
The biological phenotype of primary human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) isolates varies according to the severity of the HIV infection. Here we show that the two previously described groups of rapid/high, syncytium-inducing (SI) and slow/low, non-syncytium-inducing (NSI) isolates are distinguished by their ability to utilize different chemokine receptors for entry into target cells. Recent studies have identified the C-X-C chemokine receptor CXCR4 (also named fusin or Lestr) and the C-C chemokine receptor CCR5 as the principal entry cofactors for T-cell-line-tropic and non-T-cell-line-tropic HIV-1, respectively. Using U87.CD4 glioma cell lines, stably expressing the chemokine receptor CCR1, CCR2b, CCR3, CCR5, or CXCR4, we have tested chemokine receptor specificity for a panel of genetically diverse envelope glycoprotein genes cloned from primary HIV-1 isolates and have found that receptor usage was closely associated with the biological phenotype of the virus isolate but not the genetic subtype. We have also analyzed a panel of 36 well-characterized primary HIV-1 isolates for syncytium induction and replication in the same series of cell lines. Infection by slow/low viruses was restricted to cells expressing CCR5, whereas rapid/high viruses could use a variety of chemokine receptors. In addition to the regular use of CXCR4, many rapid/high viruses used CCR5 and some also used CCR3 and CCR2b. Progressive HIV-1 infection is characterized by the emergence of viruses resistant to inhibition by beta-chemokines, which corresponded to changes in coreceptor usage. The broadening of the host range may even enable the use of uncharacterized coreceptors, in that two isolates from immunodeficient patients infected the parental U87.CD4 cell line lacking any engineered coreceptor. Two primary isolates with multiple coreceptor usage were shown to consist of mixed populations, one with a narrow host range using CCR5 only and the other with a broad host range using CCR3, CCR5, or CXCR4, similar to the original population. The results show that all 36 primary HIV-1 isolates induce syncytia, provided that target cells carry the particular coreceptor required by the virus.
The influence of the diversity of CCR5 on HIV susceptibility and disease progression has been clearly demonstrated but how the variability of this gene influences the HIV tropism is poorly understood. We investigated whether CCR5 haplotypes are associated with HIV tropism in a Caucasian population.
We evaluated 161 HIV-positive subjects in a cross-sectional study. CCR5 haplotypes were derived after genotyping nine CCR2-CCR5 polymorphisms. The HIV subtype was determined by phylogenetic analysis using the Maximum Likelihood method and viral tropism by the genotypic tropism assay (geno2pheno). Associations between CCR5 haplotypes and viral tropism were determined using logistic regression analyses. Samples from 500 blood donors were used to evaluate the representativeness of HIV-positives in terms of CCR5 haplotype distribution.
The distribution of CCR5 haplotypes was similar in HIV-positive subjects and blood donors. The majority of viruses (93.8%) belonged to HIV-1 CRF06_cpx; 7.5% were X4, and the remaining were R5 tropic. X4 tropic viruses were overrepresented among people with CCR5 human haplotype E (HHE) compared to those without this haplotype (13.0% vs 1.4%; p=0.006). People possessing CCR5 HHE had eleven times increased odds (OR=11.00; 95% CI 1.38 to 87.38) of having X4 tropic viruses than those with non-HHE. After adjusting for antiretroviral therapy (ARV), neither the presence of HHE nor the use of ARV were associated with X4 tropic viruses.
Our results suggest that CCR5 HHE as well as ARV treatment might be associated with the presence of HIV-1 X4 tropic viruses.
CCR5; X4 tropic viruses; intravenous drug users
Chemokine receptors serve as coreceptors for HIV entry into CD4+ cells. Their expression is thought to determine the tropism of viral strains for different cell types, and also to influence susceptibility to infection and rates of disease progression. Of the chemokine receptors, CCR5 is the most important for viral transmission, since CCR5 is the principal receptor for primary, macrophage-tropic viruses, and individuals homozygous for a defective CCR5 allele (Δ32/ Δ32) are highly resistant to infection with HIV-1. In this study, CCR5-specific mAbs were generated using transfectants expressing high levels of CCR5. The specificity of these mAbs was confirmed using a broad panel of chemokine receptor transfectants, and by their non-reactivity with T cells from Δ32/Δ32 individuals. CCR5 showed a distinct pattern of expression, being abundant on long-term activated, IL-2–stimulated T cells, on a subset of effector/memory T cells in blood, and on tissue macrophages. A comparison of normal and CCR5 Δ32 heterozygotes revealed markedly reduced expression of CCR5 on T cells from the heterozygotes. There was considerable individual to individual variability in the expression of CCR5 on blood T cells, that related to factors other than CCR5 genotype. Low expression of CCR5 correlated with the reduced infectability of T cells with macrophage-tropic HIV-1, in vitro. Anti-CCR5 mAbs inhibited the infection of PBMC by macrophage-tropic HIV-1 in vitro, but did not inhibit infection by T cell–tropic virus. Anti-CCR5 mAbs were poor inhibitors of chemokine binding, indicating that HIV-1 and ligands bind to separate, but overlapping regions of CCR5. These results illustrate many of the important biological features of CCR5, and demonstrate the feasibility of blocking macrophage-tropic HIV-1 entry into cells with an anti-CCR5 reagent.
HIV-1 cell entry commonly uses, in addition to CD4, one of the chemokine receptors CCR5 or CXCR4 as coreceptor. Knowledge of coreceptor usage is critical for monitoring disease progression as well as for supporting therapy with the novel drug class of coreceptor antagonists. Predictive methods for inferring coreceptor usage based on the third hypervariable (V3) loop region of the viral gene coding for the envelope protein gp120 can provide us with these monitoring facilities while avoiding expensive phenotypic tests. All simple heuristics (such as the 11/25 rule) as well as statistical learning methods proposed to date predict coreceptor usage based on sequence features of the V3 loop exclusively. Here, we show, based on a recently resolved structure of gp120 with an untruncated V3 loop, that using structural information on the V3 loop in combination with sequence features of V3 variants improves prediction of coreceptor usage. In particular, we propose a distance-based descriptor of the spatial arrangement of physicochemical properties that increases discriminative performance. For a fixed specificity of 0.95, a sensitivity of 0.77 was achieved, improving further to 0.80 when combined with a sequence-based representation using amino acid indicators. This compares favorably with the sensitivities of 0.62 for the traditional 11/25 rule and 0.73 for a prediction based on sequence information as input to a support vector machine and constitutes a statistically significant improvement. A detailed analysis and interpretation of structural features important for classification shows the relevance of several specific hydrogen-bond donor sites and aliphatic side chains to coreceptor specificity towards CCR5 or CXCR4. Furthermore, an analysis of side chain orientation of the specificity-determining residues suggests a major role of one side of the V3 loop in the selection of the coreceptor. The proposed method constitutes the first approach to an improved prediction of coreceptor usage based on an original integration of structural bioinformatics methods with statistical learning.
HIV-1 cell entry requires a chemokine coreceptor in addition to the CD4 cell surface receptor. The two most common types of HIV coreceptors are called CCR5 and CXCR4. Whereas CCR5-using viral variants dominate directly after infection and during early stages of the disease, in about 50% of the patients, CXCR4-using variants appear in later stages of the disease, suggesting the coreceptor switch to be a determinant of disease progression. HIV coreceptors received substantial attention as antiviral drug targets, with CCR5 antagonists being currently tested in phase III clinical studies. Treatment with coreceptor antagonists requires continuous monitoring of coreceptor usage. The prominent role of coreceptors in disease progression and their potential as antiviral drug targets provides incentives for methodological improvements in coreceptor prediction and better understanding of the underlying determining factors regarding sequence and structural aspects. Our proposed method is the first approach to predict coreceptor usage based on structural information as opposed to established sequence-based methods. Including structural information improves predictive performance and is a first step towards a deeper understanding of the structural aspects of coreceptor usage.
We used cutaneous delayed-type hypersensitivity responses, a powerful in vivo measure of cell-mediated immunity, to evaluate the relationships among cell-mediated immunity, AIDS, and polymorphisms in CCR5, the HIV-1 coreceptor. There was high concordance between CCR5 polymorphisms and haplotype pairs that influenced delayed-type hypersensitivity responses in healthy persons and HIV disease progression. In the cohorts examined, CCR5 genotypes containing -2459G/G (HHA/HHA, HHA/HHC, HHC/HHC) or -2459A/A (HHE/HHE) associated with salutary or detrimental delayed-type hypersensitivity and AIDS phenotypes, respectively. Accordingly, the CCR5-Δ32 allele, when paired with non-Δ32-bearing haplotypes that correlate with low (HHA, HHC) versus high (HHE) CCR5 transcriptional activity, associates with disease retardation or acceleration, respectively. Thus, the associations of CCR5-Δ32 heterozygosity partly reflect the effect of the non-▵32 haplotype in a background of CCR5 haploinsufficiency. The correlations of increased delayed-type hypersensitivity with -2459G/G-containing CCR5 genotypes, reduced CCR5 expression, decreased viral replication, and disease retardation suggest that CCR5 may influence HIV infection and AIDS, at least in part, through effects on cell-mediated immunity.
The CCR5 chemokine receptor acts as a coreceptor with CD4 to permit infection by primary macrophage-tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) strains. The CCR5Δ32 mutation, which is associated with resistance to infection in homozygous individuals and delayed disease progression in heterozygous individuals, is rare in Africa, where the HIV-1 epidemic is growing rapidly. Several polymorphisms in the promoter region of CCR5 have been identified, the clinical and functional relevance of which remain poorly defined. We evaluated the effect of 4 CCR5 promoter mutations on systemic and mucosal HIV-1 replication, disease progression, and perinatal transmission in a cohort of 276 HIV-1–seropositive women in Nairobi, Kenya. Mutations at positions 59353, 59402, and 59029 were not associated with effects on mortality, virus load, genital shedding, or transmission in this cohort. However, women with the 59356 C/T genotype had a 3.1-fold increased risk of death during the 2-year follow-up period (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0–9.5) and a significant increase in vaginal shedding of HIV-1–infected cells (odds ratio, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.0–4.3), compared with women with the 59356 C/C genotype.
CCR5Δ32 is a loss-of-function mutation that abolishes cell surface expression of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coreceptor CCR5 and provides genetic resistance to HIV infection and disease progression. Since CXCR4 and other HIV coreceptors also exist, we hypothesized that CCR5Δ32-mediated resistance may be due not only to the loss of CCR5 function but also to a gain-of-function mechanism, specifically the active inhibition of alternative coreceptors by the mutant CCR5Δ32 protein. Here we demonstrate that efficient expression of the CCR5Δ32 protein in primary CD4+ cells by use of a recombinant adenovirus (Ad5/Δ32) was able to down-regulate surface expression of both wild-type CCR5 and CXCR4 and to confer broad resistance to R5, R5X4, and X4 HIV type 1 (HIV-1). This may be important clinically, since we found that CD4+ cells purified from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of individuals who were homozygous for CCR5Δ32, which expressed the mutant protein endogenously, consistently expressed lower levels of CXCR4 and showed less susceptibility to X4 HIV-1 isolates than cells from individuals lacking the mutation. Moreover, CD4+ cells from individuals who were homozygous for CCR5Δ32 expressed the mutant protein in five of five HIV-exposed, uninfected donors tested but not in either of two HIV-infected donors tested. The mechanism of inhibition may involve direct scavenging, since we were able to observe a direct interaction of CCR5 and CXCR4 with CCR5Δ32, both by genetic criteria using the yeast two-hybrid system and by biochemical criteria using the coimmunoprecipitation of heterodimers. Thus, these results suggest that at least two distinct mechanisms may account for genetic resistance to HIV conferred by CCR5Δ32: the loss of wild-type CCR5 surface expression and the generation of CCR5Δ32 protein, which functions as a scavenger of both CCR5 and CXCR4.
Chemokine Coreceptor-2 (CCR2) is an entry coreceptor for HIV-1. A mutation in the coding gene for this coreceptor, CCR2-64I, has been shown to be an important factor for delaying disease progression. In Kenya no studies have been done to determine the status of CCR2 gene polymorphisms among HIV-1 infected individuals. To determine the existence and distribution of CCR2 gene mutations and identify polymorphic groups of the coreceptor gene in the population, a cross-sectional study was conducted to analyze the differences in allelic frequencies of CCR2-64I among HIV-1 seropositive individuals. Blood samples were collected from HIV/AIDS screening centers and analyzed for the presence of CCR2-64I using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). One hundred and eighteen samples collected from different regions of the country were genotyped for the CCR2-64I mutation. Of these, 4 (3.4%) were homozygous mutants (I/I) and 21 (17.8%) were heterozygous (V/I). Ninety-three subjects (78.8%) were wild type (V/V). With the search for a preventive/therapeutic HIV vaccine elusive, the presence of CCR-2 gene polymorphisms that delay disease progression and prolong the lives of the infected in the Kenyan population may contribute to the growing evidence that host genetic factors are important in predicting susceptibility to HIV-1 infection.
Chronic immune activation and inflammation (e.g., as manifest by production of type I interferons) are major determinants of disease progression in primate lentivirus infections. To investigate the impact of such activation on intrathymic T-cell production, we studied infection of the human thymus implants of SCID-hu Thy/Liv mice with X4 and R5 HIV. X4 HIV was observed to infect CD3−CD4+CD8−CXCR4+CCR5− intrathymic T-cell progenitors (ITTP) and to abrogate thymopoiesis. R5 HIV, by contrast, first established a nonpathogenic infection of thymic macrophages and then, after many weeks, began to replicate in ITTP. We demonstrate here that the tropism of R5 HIV is expanded and pathogenicity enhanced by upregulation of CCR5 on these key T-cell progenitors. Such CCR5 induction was mediated by interferon-α (IFN-α) in both thymic organ cultures and in SCID-hu mice, and antibody neutralization of IFN-α in R5 HIV-infected SCID-hu mice inhibited both CCR5 upregulation and infection of the T-cell progenitors. These observations suggest a mechanism by which IFN-α production may paradoxically expand the tropism of R5 HIV and, in so doing, accelerate disease progression.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a lentivirus, is the causative agent of AIDS. Chronic immune activation and inflammation are major determinants of disease progression in primate lentivirus infections and are associated with the production of type I interferon. To investigate the impact of type I interferon on HIV infection, we studied the human thymus implants of SCID-hu Thy/Liv mice infected with HIV that uses either CXCR4 (X4 HIV) or CCR5 (R5 HIV) as a coreceptor. X4 HIV was observed to infect T-cell progenitors in the thymus and to disrupt T-cell production by that organ. R5 HIV, by contrast, first established a nondisruptive infection of thymic macrophages and then began to infect intrathymic T-cell progenitors. We report here that the tropism of R5 HIV is expanded and T-cell disruption enhanced by increased expression of CCR5 on these key T-cell progenitors. Such CCR5 induction was mediated by interferon-α (IFN-α) in both thymic organ cultures and in SCID-hu mice. Moreover, antibody neutralization of IFN-α in R5 HIV-infected SCID-hu mice inhibited both CCR5 upregulation and infection of the T-cell progenitors. These observations suggest a mechanism by which IFN-α may paradoxically expand the tropism of R5 HIV and accelerate disease progression.
Coreceptor usage of primary human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) isolates varies according to biological phenotype. The chemokine receptors CCR5 and CXCR4 are the major coreceptors that, together with CD4, govern HIV-1 entry into cells. Since CXCR4 usage determines the biological phenotype for HIV-1 isolates and is more frequent in patients with immunodeficiency, it may serve as a marker for viral virulence. This possibility prompted us to study coreceptor usage by HIV-2, known to be less pathogenic than HIV-1. We tested 11 primary HIV-2 isolates for coreceptor usage in human cell lines: U87 glioma cells, stably expressing CD4 and the chemokine receptor CCR1, CCR2b, CCR3, CCR5, or CXCR4, and GHOST(3) osteosarcoma cells, coexpressing CD4 and CCR5, CXCR4, or the orphan receptor Bonzo or BOB. The indicator cells were infected by cocultivation with virus-producing peripheral blood mononuclear cells and by cell-free virus. Our results show that 10 of 11 HIV-2 isolates were able to efficiently use CCR5. In contrast, only two isolates, both from patients with advanced disease, used CXCR4 efficiently. These two isolates also promptly induced syncytia in MT-2 cells, a pattern described for HIV-1 isolates that use CXCR4. Unlike HIV-1, many of the HIV-2 isolates were promiscuous in their coreceptor usage in that they were able to use, apart from CCR5, one or more of the CCR1, CCR2b, CCR3, and BOB coreceptors. Another difference between HIV-1 and HIV-2 was that the ability to replicate in MT-2 cells appeared to be a general property of HIV-2 isolates. Based on BOB mRNA expression in MT-2 cells and the ability of our panel of HIV-2 isolates to use BOB, we suggest that HIV-2 can use BOB when entering MT-2 cells. The results indicate no obvious link between viral virulence and the ability to use a multitude of coreceptors.
Recent studies have identified several coreceptors that are required for fusion and entry of Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1) into CD4+ cells. One of these receptors, CCR5, serves as a coreceptor for nonsyncytium inducing (NSI), macrophage-tropic strains of HIV-1, while another, fusin or CXCR-4, functions as a coreceptor for T cell line–adapted, syncytiuminducing (SI) strains. Using sequential primary isolates of HIV-1, we examined whether viruses using these coreceptors emerge in vivo and whether changes in coreceptor use are associated with disease progression. We found that isolates of HIV-1 from early in the course of infection predominantly used CCR5 for infection. However, in patients with disease progression, the virus expanded its coreceptor use to include CCR5, CCR3, CCR2b, and CXCR-4. Use of CXCR-4 as a coreceptor was only seen with primary viruses having an SI phenotype and was restricted by the env gene of the virus. The emergence of variants using this coreceptor was associated with a switch from NSI to SI phenotype, loss of sensitivity to chemokines, and decreasing CD4+ T cell counts. These results suggest that HIV-1 evolves during the course of infection to use an expanded range of coreceptors for infection, and that this adaptation is associated with progression to AIDS.
The emergence of CXCR4-using human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) variants is associated with accelerated disease progression. CXCR4-using variants are believed to evolve from CCR5-using variants, but due to the extremely low frequency at which transitional intermediate variants are often present, the kinetics and mutational pathways involved in this process have been difficult to study and are therefore poorly understood. Here, we used ultra-deep sequencing of the V3 loop of the viral envelope in combination with the V3-based coreceptor prediction tools PSSMNSI/SI and geno2pheno[coreceptor] to detect HIV-1 variants during the transition from CCR5- to CXCR4-usage. We analyzed PBMC and serum samples obtained from eight HIV-1-infected individuals at three-month intervals up to one year prior to the first phenotypic detection of CXCR4-using variants in the MT-2 assay. Between 3,482 and 10,521 reads were generated from each sample. In all individuals, V3 sequences of predicted CXCR4-using HIV-1 were detected at least three months prior to phenotypic detection of CXCR4-using variants in the MT-2 assay. Subsequent analysis of the genetic relationships of these V3 sequences using minimum spanning trees revealed that the transition in coreceptor usage followed a stepwise mutational pathway involving sequential intermediate variants, which were generally present at relatively low frequencies compared to the major predicted CCR5- and CXCR4-using variants. In addition, we observed differences between individuals with respect to the number of predicted CXCR4-using variants, the diversity among major predicted CCR5-using variants, and the presence or absence of intermediate variants with discordant phenotype predictions. These results provide the first detailed description of the mutational pathways in V3 during the transition from CCR5- to CXCR4-usage in natural HIV-1 infection.
The first step in the infection of a target cell by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is binding of the envelope spike to its receptor CD4 and a coreceptor on the cellular surface. HIV-1 variants present early in the course of infection mainly use the coreceptor CCR5, while virus variants that use CXCR4 can appear later in infection. This change in coreceptor usage is associated with mutations in the third variable (V3) loop of the envelope spike, but has been difficult to study due to the low presence of intermediate variants. Using ultra-deep sequencing, we obtained thousands of sequences of the V3 loop from HIV-1 infected individuals in the year before CXCR4-using variants were first detected, including sequences from almost all intermediate variants. We show that mutations are introduced sequentially in the V3 loop during the evolution from CCR5- to CXCR4-usage. Furthermore, we describe differences and similarities between HIV-1-infected individuals that are related to this change in coreceptor usage, which provides the first detailed overview of this evolutionary process during natural HIV-1 infection.
The main genetic factor related to HIV-1 resistance is the CCR5-Δ32 mutation; however, the homozygous genotype is uncommon. The CCR5-Δ32 mutation along with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CCR5 promoter and the CCR2-V64I mutation have been included in seven human haplogroups (HH) previously associated with resistance/susceptibility to HIV-1 infection and different rates of AIDS progression. Here, we determined the association of the CCR5 promoter SNPs, the CCR5-Δ32 mutation, CCR2-V64I SNP, and HH frequencies with resistance/susceptibility to HIV-1 infection in a cohort of HIV-1-serodiscordant couples from Colombia. Seventy HIV-1-exposed, but seronegative (HESN) individuals, 57 seropositives (SP), and 112 healthy controls (HC) were included. The CCR5-Δ32 mutation and CCR2-V64I SNP were identified by PCR, and the CCR5 promoter SNPs were evaluated by sequencing. None of the individuals exhibited a homozygous Δ32 genotype; the CCR2-I allele was more frequent in HESN (34%) than HC (23%) (p=0.039, OR=1.672). The frequency of the 29G allele was higher in SP than HC (p=0.003, OR=3). HHF2 showed a higher frequency in HC (19%) than SP (9%) (p=0.027), while HHG1 was more frequent in SP (11.1%) than in HC (4.2%) (p=0.019). The AGACCAC-CCR2-I-CCR5 wild-type haplotype showed a higher frequency in SP (14.2%) than in HC (3.7%) (p=0.001). In conclusion, the CCR5-Δ32 allele is not responsible for HIV-1 resistance in this HESN group; however, the CCR2-I allele could be protective, while the 29G allele might increase the likelihood of acquiring HIV-1 infection. HHG1 and the AGACCAC-CCR2-I-CCR5 wild-type haplotype might promote HIV-1 infection while HHF2 might be related to resistance. However, additional studies are required to evaluate the implications of these findings.