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1.  A Polymorphism in the Regulatory Region of the CC-Chemokine Receptor 5 Gene Influences Perinatal Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 to African-American Infants 
Journal of Virology  1999;73(12):10264-10271.
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.
PMCID: PMC113080  PMID: 10559343
2.  CCR2-64I Polymorphism Is Not Associated with Altered CCR5 Expression or Coreceptor Function 
Journal of Virology  1999;73(3):2450-2459.
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.
PMCID: PMC104492  PMID: 9971830
3.  Influence of the CCR2-V64I Polymorphism on Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Coreceptor Activity and on Chemokine Receptor Function of CCR2b, CCR3, CCR5, and CXCR4 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(9):7450-7458.
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.
PMCID: PMC109977  PMID: 9696841
4.  Inherited resistance to HIV-1 conferred by an inactivating mutation in CC chemokine receptor 5: studies in populations with contrasting clinical phenotypes, defined racial background, and quantified risk. 
Molecular Medicine  1997;3(1):23-36.
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.
PMCID: PMC2230106  PMID: 9132277
5.  CCR5 inhibitors: Emerging promising HIV therapeutic strategy 
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.
PMCID: PMC3168031  PMID: 21938106
aeR5-tropicae; CCR5 inhibitors; CXCR4 coreceptors
6.  Linkages between HIV-1 specificity for CCR5 or CXCR4 and in vitro usage of alternative coreceptors during progressive HIV-1 subtype C infection 
Retrovirology  2013;10:98.
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.
PMCID: PMC3849974  PMID: 24041034
HIV-1; Env; Subtype C; CCR5; CXCR4; Alternative coreceptor; Pathogenesis
7.  Polymorphisms in the CCR5 genes of African green monkeys and mice implicate specific amino acids in infections by simian and human immunodeficiency viruses. 
Journal of Virology  1997;71(11):8642-8656.
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.
PMCID: PMC192328  PMID: 9343222
8.  Role of Exonic Variation in Chemokine Receptor Genes on AIDS: CCRL2 F167Y Association with Pneumocystis Pneumonia 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(10):e1002328.
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.
Author Summary
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.
PMCID: PMC3203199  PMID: 22046140
9.  Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Disease Progression, CCR5 Genotype, and Specific Immune Responses 
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.
PMCID: PMC95600  PMID: 9665949
10.  Concordance of CCR5 Genotypes that Influence Cell-Mediated Immunity and HIV-1 Disease Progression Rates 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2011;203(2):263-272.
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.
PMCID: PMC3071050  PMID: 21288827
11.  CCR5 Promoter Polymorphisms in a Kenyan Perinatal Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Cohort: Association with Increased 2-Year Maternal Mortality 
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.
PMCID: PMC3366112  PMID: 11398114
12.  CCR2-V64I polymorphism is associated with increased risk of cervical cancer but not with HPV infection or pre-cancerous lesions in African women 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:278.
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.
PMCID: PMC2893113  PMID: 20537184
13.  Genetically Divergent Strains of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 2 Use Multiple Coreceptors for Viral Entry 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(7):5425-5432.
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.
PMCID: PMC110175  PMID: 9620997
14.  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
15.  Coreceptor usage of primary human immunodeficiency virus type 1 isolates varies according to biological phenotype. 
Journal of Virology  1997;71(10):7478-7487.
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.
PMCID: PMC192094  PMID: 9311827
16.  CCR5 Levels and Expression Pattern Correlate with Infectability by Macrophage-tropic HIV-1, In Vitro 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  1997;185(9):1681-1692.
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.
PMCID: PMC2196298  PMID: 9151905
17.  Combined Effect of CCR5-Δ32 Heterozygosity and the CCR5 Promoter Polymorphism −2459 A/G on CCR5 Expression and Resistance to Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Transmission 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(18):11677-11684.
Exposed seronegative individuals (ES) with persistent high-risk sexual behavior may be less susceptible to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection because they carry the chemokine receptor (CR) gene alleles CCR5 open reading frame (ORF) Δ32, CCR5 promoter −2459G, or CCR2 ORF 64I (CCR2-64I), all of which have been found to diminish HIV-1 infectivity and/or disease progression. To investigate this, we determined the haplotypes for these three genetic loci in 93 ES and 247 low-risk control individuals. To test if protective haplotypes exert their effect by modulating CR expression, we measured the protein expression of CCR5 and CXCR4 on circulating CD4+ T cells and CD14+ monocytes in 71 ES and 92 controls. To avoid investigator bias, the analysis was performed without knowledge of each subject's risk and genotype. The CCR5 −2459G allele was significantly enriched in ES Caucasian men, who constituted the majority (84%) of the ES cohort, compared to the control Caucasian men (P = 0.02). This increase was mostly attributable to a higher frequency of the −2459 A/G versus the −2459 A/A genotype in individuals heterozygous for the Δ32 allele (P = 0.012). No protective influence of the CCR2-64I allele was observed. The haplotypes CCR5 ORF Δ32/CCR5 −2459A (in complete linkage disequilibrium) and CCR5 ORF wt/CCR5 −2459G had a cumulative negative effect on the expression of CCR5, since we measured significantly reduced CCR5 densities on both T-helper cells and monocytes only when both haplotypes were present. Densities of CCR5 on lymphocytes and monocytes were correlated (r = 0.59; P < 0.0001), indicating concordance of CCR5 expression patterns across different cell types. We conclude that the CCR5 ORF Δ32/wt-CCR5 −2459 A/G genotype combination offers an advantage in resisting sexual HIV-1 transmission and that this effect is mediated by a relative paucity of CCR5 on potential target cells of HIV-1.
PMCID: PMC1212613  PMID: 16140745
18.  Structural Descriptors of gp120 V3 Loop for the Prediction of HIV-1 Coreceptor Usage 
PLoS Computational Biology  2007;3(3):e58.
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.
Author Summary
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.
PMCID: PMC1848001  PMID: 17397254
19.  Impact of Round-the-Clock, Rapid Oral Fluid HIV Testing of Women in Labor in Rural India 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(5):e92.
Testing pregnant women for HIV at the time of labor and delivery is the last opportunity for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) measures, particularly in settings where women do not receive adequate antenatal care. However, HIV testing and counseling of pregnant women in labor is a challenge, especially in resource-constrained settings. In India, many rural women present for delivery without any prior antenatal care. Those who do get antenatal care are not always tested for HIV, because of deficiencies in the provision of HIV testing and counseling services. In this context, we investigated the impact of introducing round-the-clock, rapid, point-of-care HIV testing and counseling in a busy labor ward at a tertiary care hospital in rural India.
Methods and Findings
After they provided written informed consent, women admitted to the labor ward of a rural teaching hospital in India were offered two rapid tests on oral fluid and finger-stick specimens (OraQuick Rapid HIV-1/HIV-2 tests, OraSure Technologies). Simultaneously, venous blood was drawn for conventional HIV ELISA testing. Western blot tests were performed for confirmatory testing if women were positive by both rapid tests and dual ELISA, or where test results were discordant. Round-the-clock (24 h, 7 d/wk) abbreviated prepartum and extended postpartum counseling sessions were offered as part of the testing strategy. HIV-positive women were administered PMTCT interventions. Of 1,252 eligible women (age range 18 y to 38 y) approached for consent over a 9 mo period in 2006, 1,222 (98%) accepted HIV testing in the labor ward. Of these, 1,003 (82%) women presented with either no reports or incomplete reports of prior HIV testing results at the time of admission to the labor ward. Of 1,222 women, 15 were diagnosed as HIV-positive (on the basis of two rapid tests, dual ELISA and Western blot), yielding a seroprevalence of 1.23% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.61%–1.8%). Of the 15 HIV test–positive women, four (27%) had presented with reported HIV status, and 11 (73%) new cases of HIV infection were detected due to rapid testing in the labor room. Thus, 11 HIV-positive women received PMTCT interventions on account of round-the-clock rapid HIV testing and counseling in the labor room. While both OraQuick tests (oral and finger-stick) were 100% specific, one false-negative result was documented (with both oral fluid and finger-stick specimens). Of the 15 HIV-infected women who delivered, 13 infants were HIV seronegative at birth and at 1 and 4 mo after delivery; two HIV-positive infants died within a month of delivery.
In a busy rural labor ward setting in India, we demonstrated that it is feasible to introduce a program of round-the-clock rapid HIV testing, including prepartum and extended postpartum counseling sessions. Our data suggest that the availability of round-the-clock rapid HIV testing resulted in successful documentation of HIV serostatus in a large proportion (82%) of rural women who were unaware of their HIV status when admitted to the labor room. In addition, 11 (73%) of a total of 15 HIV-positive women received PMTCT interventions because of round-the-clock rapid testing in the labor ward. These findings are relevant for PMTCT programs in developing countries.
Nitika Pant Pai and colleagues report the results of offering a round-the-clock rapid HIV testing program in a rural labor ward setting in India.
Editors' Summary
Since the first reported case of AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) in 1981, the number of people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, has risen steadily. Now, more than 33 million people are infected, almost half of them women. HIV is most often spread through unprotected sex with an infected partner, but mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV is also an important transmission route. HIV-positive women often pass the virus to their babies during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and breastfeeding, if nothing is done to prevent viral transmission. In developed countries, interventions such as voluntary testing and counseling, safe delivery practices (for example, offering cesarean delivery to HIV-positive women), and antiretroviral treatment of the mother during pregnancy and labor and of her newborn baby have minimized the risk of MTCT. In developing countries, the prevention of MTCT (PMTCT) is much less effective, in part because pregnant women often do not know their HIV status. Consequently, in 2007, nearly half a million children became infected with HIV mainly through MTCT.
Why Was This Study Done?
In many developing countries, women do not receive adequate antenatal care. In India, for example, nearly half the women living in rural areas do not receive any antenatal care until they are in labor. This gives health care providers very little time in which to counsel women about HIV infection, test them for the virus, and start interventions to prevent MTCT. Furthermore, testing pregnant women in labor for HIV and counseling them is a challenge, particularly where resources are limited. In this study, therefore, the researchers investigate the feasibility and impact of introducing round-the-clock, rapid HIV testing and counseling in a busy labor ward in a rural teaching hospital in Sevagram, India.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Women admitted to the labor ward between January and September 2006 were offered two rapid HIV tests—one that used a saliva sample and the other that used blood taken from a finger prick. Blood was also taken from a vein for conventional HIV testing. All the women were given a 15-minute counseling session about how HIV is transmitted, the importance of HIV testing, and information on PMTCT before their child was born (prepartum counseling), and a longer postpartum counseling session. HIV-positive women were given a cesarean delivery where possible and antiretroviral drug treatment to reduce MTCT. 1,222 women admitted to the labor ward during the study period (1,003 of whom did not know their HIV status) accepted HIV testing. Of 15 study participants who were HIV positive, 11 learnt of their HIV status in the labor room. Two babies born to these HIV-positive women were HIV positive and died within a month of delivery; the other 13 babies were HIV negative at birth and at 1 and 4 months after delivery. Finally, the rapid HIV tests missed only one HIV-positive woman (no false-positive results were given), and the time from enrolling a woman into the study through referring her for PMTCT intervention where necessary averaged 40–60 minutes.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show the feasibility and positive impact of the introduction of round-the-clock pre- and postpartum HIV counseling and rapid HIV testing into a busy rural Indian labor ward. Few of the women entering this ward knew their HIV status previously but the introduction of these facilities in this setting successfully informed these women of their HIV status. In addition, the round-the-clock counseling and testing led to 11 women and their babies receiving PMTCT interventions who would otherwise have been missed. These findings need to be confirmed in other settings and the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of this approach for the improvement of PMTCT in developing countries needs to be investigated. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that round-the-clock rapid HIV testing might be an effective and acceptable way to reduce MTCT of HIV in many developing countries.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Read a related PLoS Medicine Perspective article
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS and on HIV infection in women
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS
Women, Children, and HIV provides extensive information on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in developing countries
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on HIV and AIDS in India, on women, HIV, and AIDS, and on HIV and AIDS prevention, including the prevention of mother-to-child transmission
AIDSinfo, a service of the US Department of Health and Human Services provides health information for HIV-positive pregnant women (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC2365974  PMID: 18462011
20.  Naturally Occurring Deletional Mutation in the C-Terminal Cytoplasmic Tail of CCR5 Affects Surface Trafficking of CCR5 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(7):3462-3468.
CCR5 is an essential coreceptor for the cellular entry of R5 strains of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). CCR5-893(−) is a single-nucleotide deletion mutation which is observed exclusively in Asians (M. A. Ansari-Lari, et al., Nat. Genet. 16:221–222, 1997). This mutant gene produces a CCR5 which lacks the entire C-terminal cytoplasmic tail. To assess the effect of CCR5-893(−) on HIV-1 infection, we generated a recombinant Sendai virus expressing the mutant CCR5 and compared its HIV-1 coreceptor activity with that of wild-type CCR5. Although the mutant CCR5 has intact extracellular domains, its coreceptor activity was much less than that of wild-type CCR5. Flow cytometric analyses and confocal microscopic observation of cells expressing the mutant CCR5 revealed that surface CCR5 levels were greatly reduced in these cells, while cytoplasmic CCR5 levels of the mutant CCR5 were comparable to that of the wild type. Peripheral blood CD4+ T cells obtained from individuals heterozygous for this allele expressed very low levels of CCR5. These data suggest that the CCR5-893(−) mutation affects intracellular transport of CCR5 and raise the possibility that this mutation also affects HIV-1 transmission and disease progression.
PMCID: PMC114139  PMID: 11238872
21.  Appraising the performance of genotyping tools in the prediction of coreceptor tropism in HIV-1 subtype C viruses 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:203.
In human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, transmitted viruses generally use the CCR5 chemokine receptor as a coreceptor for host cell entry. In more than 50% of subtype B infections, a switch in coreceptor tropism from CCR5- to CXCR4-use occurs during disease progression. Phenotypic or genotypic approaches can be used to test for the presence of CXCR4-using viral variants in an individual’s viral population that would result in resistance to treatment with CCR5-antagonists. While genotyping approaches for coreceptor-tropism prediction in subtype B are well established and verified, they are less so for subtype C.
Here, using a dataset comprising V3 loop sequences from 349 CCR5-using and 56 CXCR4-using HIV-1 subtype C viruses we perform a comparative analysis of the predictive ability of 11 genotypic algorithms in their prediction of coreceptor tropism in subtype C. We calculate the sensitivity and specificity of each of the approaches as well as determining their overall accuracy. By separating the CXCR4-using viruses into CXCR4-exclusive (25 sequences) and dual-tropic (31 sequences) we evaluate the effect of the possible conflicting signal from dual-tropic viruses on the ability of a of the approaches to correctly predict coreceptor phenotype.
We determined that geno2pheno with a false positive rate of 5% is the best approach for predicting CXCR4-usage in subtype C sequences with an accuracy of 94% (89% sensitivity and 99% specificity). Contrary to what has been reported for subtype B, the optimal approaches for prediction of CXCR4-usage in sequence from viruses that use CXCR4 exclusively, also perform best at predicting CXCR4-use in dual-tropic viral variants.
The accuracy of genotyping approaches at correctly predicting the coreceptor usage of V3 sequences from subtype C viruses is very high. We suggest that genotyping approaches can be used to test for coreceptor tropism in HIV-1 group M subtype C with a high degree of confidence that they will identify CXCR4-usage in both CXCR4-exclusive and dual tropic variants.
PMCID: PMC3482586  PMID: 22938574
Human immunodeficiency virus; Coreceptor; Chemokine receptors; CXCR4; CCR5; Genotype; Phenotype; Subtype C
22.  Effectiveness of Non-nucleoside Reverse-Transcriptase Inhibitor-Based Antiretroviral Therapy in Women Previously Exposed to a Single Intrapartum Dose of Nevirapine: A Multi-country, Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(2):e1000233.
In a comparative cohort study, Jeffrey Stringer and colleagues investigate the risk of ART failure in women who received single-dose nevirapine for PMTCT, and assess the duration of increased risk.
Intrapartum and neonatal single-dose nevirapine (NVP) reduces the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission but also induces viral resistance to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) drugs. This drug resistance largely fades over time. We hypothesized that women with a prior single-dose NVP exposure would have no more than a 10% higher cumulative prevalence of failure of their NNRTI-containing antiretroviral therapy (ART) over the first 48 wk of therapy than would women without a prior exposure.
Methods and Findings
We enrolled 355 NVP-exposed and 523 NVP-unexposed women at two sites in Zambia, one site in Kenya, and two sites in Thailand into a prospective, non-inferiority cohort study and followed them for 48 wk on ART. Those who died, discontinued NNRTI-containing ART, or had a plasma viral load ≥400 copies/ml at either the 24 wk or 48 wk study visits and confirmed on repeat testing were characterized as having failed therapy. Overall, 114 of 355 NVP-exposed women (32.1%) and 132 of 523 NVP-unexposed women (25.2%) met criteria for treatment failure. The difference in failure rates between the exposure groups was 6.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.8%–13.0%). The failure rates of women stratified by our predefined exposure interval categories were as follows: 47 of 116 women in whom less than 6 mo elapsed between exposure and starting ART failed therapy (40%; p<0.001 compared to unexposed women); 25 of 67 women in whom 7–12 mo elapsed between exposure and starting ART failed therapy (37%; p = 0.04 compared to unexposed women); and 42 of 172 women in whom more than 12 mo elapsed between exposure and starting ART failed therapy (24%; p = 0.82 compared to unexposed women). Locally weighted regression analysis also indicated a clear inverse relationship between virologic failure and the exposure interval.
Prior exposure to single-dose NVP was associated with an increased risk of treatment failure; however, this risk seems largely confined to women with a more recent exposure. Women requiring ART within 12 mo of NVP exposure should not be prescribed an NNRTI-containing regimen as first-line therapy.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Every year, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) kills nearly 300,000 children. At the end of 2008, 2.1 million children were positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of AIDS, and in that year alone more than 400,000 children were newly infected with HIV. Most HIV-positive children acquire the virus from their mothers during pregnancy or birth or through breastfeeding, so-called mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). Without intervention, 15%–30% of babies born to HIV-positive women become infected with HIV during pregnancy and delivery, and a further 5%–20% become infected through breastfeeding. These rates of infection can be greatly reduced by treating the mother and her newborn baby with antiretroviral drugs. A single dose of nevirapine (a “non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor” or NNRTI) given to the mother at the start of labor and to the baby soon after birth reduces the risk of MTCT by nearly a half; a further reduction in risk can be achieved by giving the mother and her baby additional antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy, around the time of birth, and while breast-feeding.
Why Was This Study Done?
Single-dose nevirapine is the mainstay of MTCT prevention programs in many poor countries but can induce resistance to nevirapine and to other NNRTIs. The drugs used to treat HIV infections fall into several different classes defined by how they stop viral growth. HIV can become resistant to any of these drugs and a virus strain that is resistant to one member of a drug class is often also resistant to other members of the same class. Because most first-line antiretroviral therapies (ARTs; cocktails of antiretroviral drugs) used in developing countries contain an NNRTI and because HIV-positive mothers eventually need ART to safeguard their own health, the resistance to NNRTIs that is induced in women by single-dose nevirapine might decrease the chances that ART will work for them later. In this multi-country, prospective cohort study, the researchers compare the effectiveness of NNRTI-containing ART in a group (cohort) of women previously exposed to single-dose nevirapine during childbirth to its effectiveness in a group of unexposed women. They also investigate whether the length of time between nevirapine exposure and ART initiation affects ART effectiveness.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers enrolled 355 HIV-positive nevirapine-exposed women and 523 HIV-positive nevirapine-unexposed women in Zambia, Kenya, and Thailand who were just starting NNRTI-containing ART and followed them for 48 weeks. They defined ART failure as death, discontinuation of NNRTI-containing ART, or a high virus load in the blood (virologic failure) at 24 or 48 weeks. ART failed in nearly a third of the nevirapine-exposed women but in only a quarter of the nevirapine-unexposed women. Women who began ART within 6 months of taking single-dose nevirapine to prevent MTCT were twice as likely to experience ART failure as women not exposed to single-dose nevirapine. Women who began ART 7–12 months after single-dose nevirapine had a slightly increased risk of ART failure compared to unexposed women but this increased risk was not statistically significant; that is, it could have occurred by chance. Women who began ART more than 12 months after single-dose nevirapine did not have an increased risk of ART failure compared to unexposed women. Finally, the researchers used a statistical method called locally weighted regression analysis to confirm that an increase in the interval between single-dose nevirapine and ART initiation decreased the risk of virologic failure.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings, which confirm and extend the results of previous studies and which are likely to be generalizable to other resource-poor countries, indicate that single-dose nevirapine given to women to prevent MTCT increases their risk of subsequent ART failure. More positively, they also show that this increased failure risk is largely confined to women who begin ART within a year of exposure to nevirapine. Because of the study design, it is possible that the nevirapine-exposed women share some additional, undefined characteristic that makes them more likely to fail ART than unexposed women. Even so, these findings suggest that, provided NNRTI-containing ART is not given to HIV-positive women within a year of nevirapine exposure, single-dose nevirapine can be safely used to prevent MTCT without compromising the mother's future antiretroviral treatment options.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS, on treatments for HIV/AIDS, and on HIV infection in infants and children
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on many aspects of HIV/AIDS, including information on children, HIV, and AIDS and on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (in English and Spanish)
UNICEF also has information about children and HIV and AIDS (in several languages)
The World Health Organization has information on mother-to-child transmission of HIV
PMCID: PMC2821896  PMID: 20169113
23.  IFN-α-Induced Upregulation of CCR5 Leads to Expanded HIV Tropism In Vivo 
PLoS Pathogens  2010;6(2):e1000766.
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.
Author Summary
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.
PMCID: PMC2824759  PMID: 20174557
24.  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
25.  Role for CCR5Δ32 Protein in Resistance to R5, R5X4, and X4 Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 in Primary CD4+ Cells 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(5):2277-2287.
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.
PMCID: PMC369216  PMID: 14963124

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