HIV cell entry and infection are driven by binding events to the CD4 and Chemokine receptors with associated conformational change of the viral glycoprotein, gp120. Scyllatoxin mini-protein CD4 mimetics and a small molecule inhibitor of CD4 binding, NBD-556, also effectively induce gp120 conformational change. In this study we examine the fluctuation profile of gp120 in context of CD4, a mini-protein mimetic and NBD-556 with the aim of understanding the effect of ligand binding on gp120 conformational dynamics. Analysis of Molecular Dynamics trajectories indicate that NBD-556 binding in the Phe 43 cavity enhances the overall mobility of gp120 especially in the outer-domain in comparison to CD4 or mini-protein bound complex. Interactions with the more flexible bridging sheet strengthen upon NBD-556 binding and may contribute to gp120 restructuring. The enhanced mobility of D368, E370 and I371 with NBD-556 bound in the Phe 43 cavity suggests that interactions with α3-helix in the outer-domain are not optimal, providing further insights into gp120-small molecule interactions that may impact small molecule designs.
HIV; gp120; Cd4 binding; NBD-566; Chemokine Receptor; Molecular Dynamics; small molecule inhibitor; protein-ligand interactions; HIV entry inhibitor
HIV envelope glycoproteins undergo large-scale conformational changes as they interact with cellular receptors to cause the fusion of viral and cellular membranes that permits viral entry to infect targeted cells. Conformational dynamics in HIV gp120 are also important in masking conserved receptor epitopes from being detected for effective neutralization by the human immune system. Crystal structures of HIV gp120 and its complexes with receptors and antibody fragments provide high-resolution pictures of selected conformational states accessible to gp120. Here we describe systematic computational analyses of HIV gp120 plasticity in such complexes with CD4 binding fragments, CD4 mimetic proteins, and various antibody fragments. We used three computational approaches: an isotropic elastic network analysis of conformational plasticity, a full atomic normal mode analysis, and simulation of conformational transitions with our coarse-grained virtual atom molecular mechanics (VAMM) potential function. We observe collective sub-domain motions about hinge points that coordinate those motions, correlated local fluctuations at the interfacial cavity formed when gp120 binds to CD4, and concerted changes in structural elements that form at the CD4 interface during large-scale conformational transitions to the CD4-bound state from the deformed states of gp120 in certain antibody complexes.
Peptide-triazole (PT) entry inhibitors prevent HIV-1 infection by blocking viral gp120 binding to both HIV-1 receptor and coreceptor on target cells. Here, we used all-atom explicit solvent molecular dynamics (MD) to propose a model for the encounter complex of the peptide-triazoles with gp120. Saturation Transfer Difference NMR (STD NMR) and single-site mutagenesis experiments were performed to test the simulation results. We found that docking of the peptide to a conserved patch of residues lining the “F43 pocket” of gp120 in a bridging sheet naïve gp120 conformation of the glycoprotein, led to a stable complex. This pose prevents formation of the bridging sheet minidomain, which is required for receptor/coreceptor binding, providing a mechanistic basis for dual-site antagonism of this class of inhibitors. Burial of the peptide triazole at gp120 inner/outer domain interface significantly contributed to complex stability and rationalizes the significant contribution of hydrophobic triazole groups to peptide potency. Both the simulation model and STD NMR experiments suggest that the I-X-W (where X=(2S, 4S)-4-(4-phenyl-1H-1, 2, 3-triazol-1-yl) pyrrolidine) tripartite hydrophobic motif in the peptide is the major contributor of contacts at the gp120/PT interface. Since the model predicts that the peptide Trp side chain hydrogen bonding with gp120 S375 contributes to stability of the PT/gp120 complex, we tested this prediction through analysis of peptide binding to gp120 mutant S375A. The results showed that a peptide triazole KR21 inhibits S375A with 20-fold less potency versus WT, consistent with predictions of the model. Overall, the PT/gp120 model provides a starting point for both rational design of higher affinity peptide triazoles and development of structure-minimized entry inhibitors that can trap gp120 into an inactive conformation and prevent infection.
We have recently designed a soluble synthetic peptide that functionally mimics the HIV-1 coreceptor CXCR4, which is a chemokine receptor that belongs to the family of seven-transmembrane GPCRs. This CXCR4 mimetic peptide, termed CX4-M1, presents the three extracellular loops (ECLs) of the receptor. In binding assays involving recombinant proteins, as well as in cellular infection assays, CX4-M1 was found to selectively recognize gp120 from HIV-1 strains that use CXCR4 for cell entry (X4 tropic HIV-1). Furthermore, anti-HIV-1 antibodies modulate this interaction in a molecular mechanism related to that of their impact on the gp120–CXCR4 interaction. We could now show that the selectivity of CX4-M1 pertains not only to gp120 from X4 tropic HIV-1, but also to synthetic peptides presenting the V3 loops of these gp120 proteins. The V3 loop is thought to be an essential part of the coreceptor binding site of gp120 that contacts the second ECL of the coreceptor. We were able to experimentally confirm this notion in binding assays using substitution analogs of CX4-M1 and the V3 loop peptides, respectively, as well as in cellular infection assays. These results indicate that interactions of the HIV-1 Env with coreceptors can be mimicked by synthetic peptides, which may be useful to explore these interactions at the molecular level in more detail.
peptide; protein–protein interaction; HIV-1; gp120; coreceptor; CXCR4; V3 loop
The initial events of HIV-1 cell infection involve the sequential binding of the viral envelope glycoprotein gp120 to the cellular CD4 receptor and the coreceptor, usually CCR5 or CXCR4. Binding to the coreceptor triggers the chain of events that culminates with the entry of the virus into the cell. In this process, the interaction of gp120 with the tyrosine-sulfated N-terminus of CCR5 is critical, however, this interaction has never been characterized at a quantitative or thermodynamic level. Here, we present the first thermodynamic analysis of the interaction of gp120 with the N-terminal peptide of the CCR5 coreceptor. Microcalorimetric titrations demonstrate that measurable binding of S22 peptide, a 22 amino acid tyrosine-sulfated peptide corresponding to the CCR5 N-terminus, requires prior binding of CD4 to gp120. The S22 peptide binds to the gp120/CD4 complex with a binding affinity of 4.5 × 105 M−1 (Kd = 2.2 µM) in an enthalpically and entropically favorable process. An identical peptide lacking the sulfated tyrosine residues is unable to bind the gp120/CD4 complex. These results indicate that the sulfated tyrosines contribute close to −3.5 kcal/mol to the Gibbs energy of binding. Furthermore, the S22 peptide is a competitive inhibitor of the 17b HIV-1 neutralizing antibody, which is known to bind to the CCR5 coreceptor site in gp120. Together, these results point towards compounds containing sulfated aromatic groups as potential inhibitors of viral entry. In analogy to existing inhibitors that bind to the CCR5 coreceptor directly, these compounds will accomplish the same result by binding to the coreceptor site in gp120.
HIV-1 entry into host cells is mediated by the sequential binding of the envelope glycoprotein gp120 to CD4 and a chemokine receptor. Antibodies binding to epitopes overlapping the CD4-binding site on gp120 are potent inhibitors of HIV entry, such as the llama heavy chain antibody fragment VHH D7, which has cross-clade neutralizing properties and competes with CD4 and mAb b12 for high affinity binding to gp120. We report the crystal structure of the D7 VHH at 1.5 Å resolution, which reveals the molecular details of the complementarity determining regions (CDR) and substantial flexibility of CDR3 that could facilitate an induced fit interaction with gp120. Structural comparison of CDRs from other CD4 binding site antibodies suggests diverse modes of interaction. Mutational analysis identified CDR3 as a key component of gp120 interaction as determined by surface plasmon resonance. A decrease in affinity is directly coupled to the neutralization efficiency since mutations that decrease gp120 interaction increase the IC50 required for HIV-1 IIIB neutralization. Thus the structural study identifies the long CDR3 of D7 as the key determinant of interaction and HIV-1 neutralization. Furthermore, our data confirm that the structural plasticity of gp120 can accommodate multiple modes of antibody binding within the CD4 binding site.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infects T lymphocytes via an interaction between the virus envelope glycoprotein gp120 and the CD4 antigen of T helper cells. Previous studies demonstrated that mutations in various regions of CD4 domain 1 lead to the loss of gp120 binding. In the present study the gp120 binding site was constructed in rat CD4 by replacing rat with human CD4 sequence. A series of mutants was constructed the best of which bound gp120 with an affinity only twofold less than that of human CD4. The data indicate that the gp120 binding site of human CD4 is constituted by residues 33-58 of domain 1.
The entry of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) into cells is initiated by binding of the gp120 exterior envelope glycoprotein to the receptor, CD4. How does CD4 binding trigger conformational changes in gp120 that allow the gp41 transmembrane envelope glycoprotein to mediate viral-cell membrane fusion? The transition from the unliganded to the CD4-bound state is regulated by two potentially flexible topological layers (“Layers 1 and 2”) in the gp120 inner domain. Both layers apparently contribute to the non-covalent association of unliganded gp120 with gp41. After CD4 makes initial contact with the gp120 outer domain, Layer 1-Layer 2 interactions strengthen gp120-CD4 binding by reducing the off-rate. Layer 1-Layer 2 interactions also destabilize the activated state induced on HIV-1 by treatment with soluble CD4. Thus, despite lack of contact with CD4, the gp120 inner domain layers govern CD4 triggering by participating in conformational transitions within gp120 and regulating the interaction with gp41.
Structure-activity correlations were investigated for substituted peptide conjugates that function as dual receptor site antagonists of HIV-1 gp120. A series of peptide conjugates were constructed via click reaction of both aryl and alkyl acetylenes with an internally-incorporated azidoproline 6 derived from the parent peptide 1 (12p1, RINNIPWSEAMM). Compared to 1, many of these conjugates were found to exhibit several orders of magnitude increase in both affinity for HIV-1 gp120 and inhibition potencies at both the CD4 and co-receptor binding sites of gp120. We sought to determine structural factors in the added triazole grouping responsible for the increased binding affinity and antiviral activity of the dual inhibitor conjugates. We measured peptide conjugate potencies in both kinetic and cell infection assays. High affinity was sterically specific, being exhibited by the cis but not the trans triazole. The results demonstrate that aromatic, hydrophobic and steric features in the residue 6 side-chain are important for increased affinity and inhibition. Optimizing these features provides a basis for developing gp120 dual inhibitors into peptidomimetic and increasingly smaller molecular weight entry antagonist leads.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) binds to cells via an interaction between CD4 and the virus envelope glycoprotein, gp120. Previous studies have localized the high affinity binding site for gp120 to the first domain of CD4, and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) reactive with this region compete with gp120 binding and thereby block virus infectivity and syncytium formation. Despite a detailed understanding of the binding of gp120 to CD4, little is known of subsequent events leading to membrane fusion and virus entry. We describe two new mAbs reactive with the third domain of CD4 that inhibit steps subsequent to virus binding critical for HIV infectivity and cell fusion. Binding of recombinant gp120 or virus to CD4 is not inhibited by these antibodies, whereas infection and syncytium formation by a number of HIV isolates are blocked. These findings demonstrate that in addition to virus binding, CD4 may have an active role in membrane fusion.
NBD-556 and the chemically and structurally similar NBD-557 are two low-molecular-weight compounds that reportedly block the interaction between the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120 and its receptor, CD4. NBD-556 binds to gp120 with a binding affinity of 2.7 × 105 M−1 (Kd = 3.7 μM) in a process characterized by a large favorable change in enthalpy partially compensated by a large unfavorable entropy change; a thermodynamic signature similar to that observed for sCD4 binding to gp120 and associated with a large structuring of the gp120 molecule as also demonstrated by CD spectroscopy. NBD-556, like CD4, activates the binding of gp120 to the HIV-1 coreceptor, CCR5, and to the 17b monoclonal antibody, which recognizes the coreceptor-binding site of gp120. NBD-556 stimulates HIV-1 infection of CD4-negative, CCR5-expressing cells. The thermodynamic signature of the binding of NBD-556 to gp120 is very different from that of another viral entry inhibitor, BMS-378806. Whereas NBD-556 binds gp120 with large favorable enthalpy and compensating unfavorable entropy changes, BMS-378806 does so with a small binding enthalpy change in a mostly entropy-driven process. NBD-556 is a competitive inhibitor of sCD4 and elicits a similar structuring of the coreceptor binding site, whereas BMS-378806 does not compete with sCD4 and does not induce coreceptor binding. These studies demonstrate that low-molecular-weight compounds can induce conformational changes in the HIV-1 gp120 glycoprotein similar to those observed upon CD4 binding revealing distinct strategies for inhibiting the function of the HIV-1 gp120 envelope glycoprotein. Furthermore, competitive and non-competitive compounds have characteristic thermodynamic signatures that can be used to guide the design of more potent and effective viral entry inhibitors.
The low-molecular-weight compound JRC-II-191 inhibits infection of HIV-1 by blocking the binding of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120 to the CD4 receptor and is therefore an important lead in the development of a potent viral entry inhibitor. Reported here is the use of two orthogonal screening methods, GOLD docking and ROCS shape-based similarity searching, to identify amine-building blocks that, when conjugated to the core scaffold, yield novel analogues that maintain similar affinity for gp120. Use of this computational approach to expand SAR produced analogues of equal inhibitory activity but with diverse capacity to enhance viral infection. The novel analogues provide additional lead scaffolds for the development of HIV-1 entry inhibitors that employ protein-ligand interactions in the vestibule of gp120 Phe 43 cavity.
HIV; gp120; CD4; Entry inhibitor; Virtual Screening
The CD4 molecule is an essential receptor for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) through high-affinity interactions with the viral external envelope glycoprotein gp120. Previously, neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) specific to the third hypervariable domain of gp120 (the V3 loop) have been thought to block HIV infection without affecting the binding of HIV particles to CD4-expressing human cells. However, here we demonstrate that this conclusion was not correct and was due to the use of soluble gp120 instead of HIV particles. Indeed, neutralizing anti-V3 loop MAbs inhibited completely the binding and entry of HIV particles into CD4+ human cells. In contrast, the binding of virus was only partially inhibited by neutralizing anti-CD4 MAbs against the gp120 binding site in CD4, which, like the anti-V3 loop MAbs, completely inhibited HIV entry and infection. Nonneutralizing control MAbs against either the V3 loop or the N or C terminus of gp120 had no significant effect on HIV binding and entry. HIV-1 particles were also found to bind human and murine cells expressing or not expressing the human CD4 molecule. Interestingly, the binding of HIV to CD4+ murine cells was inhibited by both anti-V3 and anti-CD4 MAbs, whereas the binding to human and murine CD4- cells was affected only by anti-V3 loop MAbs. The effect of anti-V3 loop neutralizing MAbs on the HIV binding to cells appears not to be the direct consequence of gp120 shedding from HIV particles or of a decreased affinity of CD4 or gp120 for binding to its surface counterpart. Taken together, our results suggest the existence of CD4-dependent and -independent binding events involved in the attachment of HIV particles to cells; in both of these events, the V3 loop plays a critical role. As murine cells lack the specific cofactor CXCR4 for HIV-1 entry, other cell surface molecules besides CD4 might be implicated in stable binding of HIV particles to cells.
Human and non–human primate salivas retard the infectivity of HIV-1 in vitro and in vivo. Because thrombospondin 1 (TSP1), a high molecular weight trimeric glycoprotein, is concentrated in saliva and can inhibit the infectivity of diverse pathogens in vitro, we sought to determine the role of TSP1 in suppression of HIV infectivity. Sequence analysis revealed a TSP1 recognition motif, previously defined for the CD36 gene family of cell adhesion receptors, in conserved regions flanking the disulfide-linked cysteine residues of the V3 loop of HIV envelope glycoprotein gp120, important for HIV binding to its high affinity cellular receptor CD4. Using solid-phase in vitro binding assays, we demonstrate direct binding of radiolabeled TSP1 to immobilized recombinant gp120. Based on peptide blocking experiments, the TSP1–gp120 interaction involves CSVTCG sequences in the type 1 properdin-like repeats of TSP1, the known binding site for CD36. TSP1 and fusion proteins derived from CD36-related TSP1-binding domains were able to compete with radiolabeled soluble CD4 binding to immobilized gp120. In parallel, purified TSP1 inhibited HIV-1 infection of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and transformed T and promonocytic cell lines. Levels of TSP1 required for both viral aggregation and direct blockade of HIV-1 infection were physiologic, and affinity depletion of salivary TSP1 abrogated >70% of the inhibitory effect of whole saliva on HIV infectivity. Characterization of TSP1–gp120 binding specificity suggests a mechanism for direct blockade of HIV infectivity that might be exploited to retard HIV transmission that occurs via mucosal routes.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) binds to the surface of T lymphocytes and other cells of the immune system via a high affinity interaction between CD4 and the HIV outer envelope glycoprotein, gp120. By analogy with certain other enveloped viruses, receptor binding by HIV may be followed by exposure of the hydrophobic NH2 terminus of its transmembrane glycoprotein, gp41, and fusion of the virus and cell membranes. A similar sequence of events is thought to take place between HIV-infected and uninfected CD4+ cells, resulting in their fusion to form syncytia. In this study, we have used a soluble, recombinant form of CD4 (sCD4) to model events taking place after receptor binding by the HIV envelope glycoproteins. We demonstrate that the complexing of sCD4 with gp120 induces conformational changes within envelope glycoprotein oligomers. This was measured on HIV-1-infected cells by the increased binding of antibodies to the gp120/V3 loops, and on the surface of virions by increased cleavage of this loop by an exogenous proteinase. At 37 degrees C, these conformational changes are coordinate with the dissociation of gp120/sCD4 complexes from gp41, and the increased exposure of gp41 epitopes. At 4 degrees C, gp120 dissociation from the cell surface does not occur, but increased exposure of both gp120/V3 and gp41 epitopes is detected. We propose that these events occurring after CD4 binding are integral components of the membrane fusion reaction between HIV or HIV-infected cells and CD4+ cells.
The HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein is a trimeric complex of heterodimers composed of a surface glycoprotein, gp120, and a transmembrane component, gp41. The association of this complex with CD4 stabilizes the coreceptor-binding site of gp120 and promotes the exposure of the gp41 helical region 1 (HR1). Here, we show that a 15-amino-acid peptide mimetic of the HIV-1 coreceptor CCR5 fused to a dimeric antibody Fc domain (CCR5mim-Ig) bound two gp120 molecules per envelope glycoprotein complex and by itself promoted HR1 exposure. CCR5mim-Ig also stabilized the association of a CD4-mimetic peptide with the envelope glycoprotein. A fusion of the CD4- and CCR5-mimetic peptides, DM1, bound gp120 and neutralized R5, R5X4, and X4 HIV-1 isolates comparably to CD4, and they did so markedly more efficiently than either peptide alone. Our data indicate that the potency of DM1-Ig derives from its avidity for the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein trimer and from the bidirectional induction of its receptor-mimetic components. DM1 has significant advantages over other inhibitors that target both coreceptor and CD4-binding sites, and it may serve as a lead for a new class of HIV-1 inhibitor peptides.
We have used phage-displayed peptide libraries to identify novel ligands to the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein gp120. Screening of libraries of random 12-mers, 7-mers, and cyclic 9-mers produced two families of gp120 binding peptides. Members of a family with the prototype sequence RINNIPWSEAMM (peptide 12p1) inhibit the interaction between gp120 and both four-domain soluble CD4 (4dCD4) and monoclonal antibody (MAb) 17b, a neutralizing antibody that covers the chemokine receptor binding surface on gp120. Peptide 12p1 inhibits the interaction of 4dCD4 with gp120 from three different HIV strains, implying that it binds to a conserved site on gp120. Members of a second family of peptides, with the prototype sequence TSPYEDWQTYLM (peptide 12p2), bind more weakly to gp120. They do not detectably affect its interaction with 4dCD4, but they enhance its binding to MAb 17b. A common sequence motif in the two peptide families and cross-competition for gp120 binding suggest that they have overlapping contacts. Their divergent effects on the affinity of gp120 for MAb 17b may indicate that their binding stabilizes distinct conformational states of gp120. The functional properties of 12p1 suggest that it might be a useful lead for the development of inhibitors of HIV entry.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) entry is mediated by the interaction between a variably glycosylated envelope glycoprotein (gp120) and host-cell receptors. Approximately half of the molecular mass of gp120 is contributed by N-glycans, which serve as potential epitopes and may shield gp120 from immune recognition. The role of gp120 glycans in the host immune response to HIV-1 has not been comprehensively studied at the molecular level. We developed a new approach to characterize cell-specific gp120 glycosylation, the regulation of glycosylation, and the effect of variable glycosylation on antibody reactivity. A model oligomeric gp120 was expressed in different cell types, including cell lines that represent host-infected cells or cells used to produce gp120 for vaccination purposes. N-Glycosylation of gp120 varied, depending on the cell type used for its expression and the metabolic manipulation during expression. The resultant glycosylation included changes in the ratio of high-mannose to complex N-glycans, terminal decoration, and branching. Differential glycosylation of gp120 affected envelope recognition by polyclonal antibodies from the sera of HIV-1-infected subjects. These results indicate that gp120 glycans contribute to antibody reactivity and should be considered in HIV-1 vaccine design.
Glycosylation; HIV; Immunology; Post-translational Modification; Viral Immunology; Antibody Binding; HIV-1 Glycoprotein gp120
Metastable conformations of the gp120 and gp41 envelope glycoproteins of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) must be maintained in the unliganded state of the envelope glycoprotein trimer. Binding of gp120 to the primary receptor, CD4, triggers the transition to an open conformation of the trimer, promoting interaction with the CCR5 chemokine receptor and ultimately leading to gp41-mediated virus-cell membrane fusion and entry. Topological layers in the gp120 inner domain contribute to gp120-trimer association in the unliganded state and to CD4 binding. Here we describe similarities and differences between HIV-1 and SIVmac gp120. In both viruses, the gp120 N/C termini and the inner domain β-sandwich and layer 2 support the noncovalent association of gp120 with the envelope glycoprotein trimer. Layer 1 of the SIVmac gp120 inner domain contributes more to trimer association than the corresponding region of HIV-1 gp120. On the other hand, layer 1 plays an important role in stabilizing the CD4-bound conformation of HIV-1 but not SIVmac gp120 and thus contributes to HIV-1 binding to CD4. In SIVmac, CD4 binding is instead enhanced by tryptophan 375, which fills the Phe 43 cavity of gp120. Activation of SIVmac by soluble CD4 is dependent on tryptophan 375 and on layer 1 residues that determine a tight association of gp120 with the trimer. Distinct biological requirements for CD4 usage have resulted in lineage-specific differences in the HIV-1 and SIV gp120 structures that modulate trimer association and CD4 binding.
The first stage of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection involves the fusion of viral and host cellular membranes mediated by viral envelope glycoprotein gp120. Inhibitors that specifically target gp120 are gaining increased attention as therapeutics or preventatives to prevent the spread of HIV-1. One promising new group of inhibitors is the peptide triazoles, which bind to gp120 and simultaneously block its interaction with both CD4 and the coreceptor. In this study, we assessed the most potent peptide triazole, HNG-156, for inhibitory breadth, cytotoxicity, and efficacy, both alone and in combination with other antiviral compounds, against HIV-1. HNG-156 inhibited a panel of 16 subtype B and C isolates of HIV-1 in a single-round infection assay. Inhibition of cell infection by replication-competent clinical isolates of HIV-1 was also observed with HNG-156. We found that HNG-156 had a greater than predicted effect when combined with several other entry inhibitors or the reverse transcriptase inhibitor tenofovir. Overall, we find that HNG-156 is noncytotoxic, has a broad inhibition profile, and provides a positive combination with several inhibitors of the HIV-1 life cycle. These results support the pursuit of efficacy and toxicity analyses in more advanced cell and animal models to develop peptide triazole family inhibitors of HIV-1 into antagonists of HIV-1 infection.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian (SIV) immunodeficiency virus entry is mediated by binding of the viral envelope glycoprotein (Env) to CD4 and chemokine receptors, CCR5 and/or CXCR4. CD4 induces extensive conformational changes that expose and/or induce formation of a chemokine receptor binding site on gp120. CD4-independent Env's of HIV type 1 (HIV-1), HIV-2, and SIV have been identified that exhibit exposed chemokine receptor binding sites and can bind directly to CCR5 or CXCR4 in the absence of CD4. While many studies have examined determinants for gp120-CCR5 binding, analysis of gp120-CXCR4 binding has been hindered by the apparently lower affinity of this interaction for X4-tropic HIV-1 isolates. We show here that gp120 proteins from two CD4-independent HIV-2 Env's, VCP and ROD/B, bind directly to CXCR4 with an apparently high affinity. By use of CXCR4 N-terminal deletion constructs, CXCR4-CXCR2 chimeras, and human-rat CXCR4 chimeras, binding determinants were shown to reside in the amino (N) terminus, extracellular loop 2 (ECL2), and ECL3. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis of charged residues, tyrosines, and phenylalanines in extracellular CXCR4 domains implicated multiple amino acids in the N terminus (E14/E15, D20, Y21, and D22), ECL2 (D187, R188, F189, Y190, and D193), and ECL3 (D262, E268, E277, and E282) in binding, although minor differences were noted between VCP and ROD/B. However, mutations in CXCR4 that markedly reduced binding did not necessarily hinder cell-cell fusion by VCP or ROD/B, especially in the presence of CD4. These gp120 proteins will be useful in dissecting determinants for CXCR4 binding and Env triggering and in evaluating pharmacologic inhibitors of the gp120-CXCR4 interaction.
Various roles for the viral receptor, CD4, have been proposed in facilitating human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) entry, including virion binding to the target cell and the induction of conformational changes in the viral envelope glycoproteins required for the membrane fusion reaction. Here, we compare the structural requirements in the CDR2-like loop of CD4 domain 1, the major contact site of the gp120 envelope glycoprotein, for gp120 binding and virus entry. For every CD4 mutant examined, the level of cell surface expression and the gp120 binding affinity were sufficient to explain the relative ability to function as a viral receptor. The decrease in relative infectibility associated with decreased gp120 binding affinity was more pronounced at lower cell surface CD4 concentrations. These results imply that both receptor density and affinity determine the efficiency of HIV-1 entry and that specific structures in the CD4 residues examined are probably not required for HIV-1 entry functions other than gp120 binding.
This study was undertaken to analyze the specificity and neutralizing properties of cross-reactive anti-gp120 antibodies (Abs) in the sera of two human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected asymptomatic individuals. Two panels of murine monoclonal anti-idiotype Abs (anti-id MAbs) were established against cross-reactive polyclonal anti-gp120 Abs purified from HIV+ sera by sequential affinity chromatography using gp120SF2- and gp120IIIB-Sepharose columns. These panels of anti-id MAbs were then used to affinity purify idiotype-positive (Id+) anti-gp120 Abs from HIV+ sera. The recovery of each of these Id+ Abs by purification indicated that several idiotypically distinct cross-reactive anti-gp120 Abs are present in sera over a wide range of concentrations. Immunological and biological studies showed that although all of the Id+ Abs were reactive against gp120SF2 and gp120IIIB, they exhibited unique epitope specificities and distinct neutralizing activities. Most of the Id+ Abs were directed against epitopes in the CD4 attachment site (CD4 site epitopes) of gp120 and exhibited a spectrum of broadly neutralizing activities. On the other hand, a minor population of Id+ Abs showed specificity for the V3 region of gp120 and exhibited limited cross-neutralizing activities. Together, these studies indicate that the CD4 site epitope-specific Abs are heterogeneous with respect to their clonality, neutralizing activity, and concentration in sera. This heterogeneity suggests that anti-gp120 Abs to the CD4 attachment site are developed in response to multiple overlapping epitopes present on the original virus isolate and/or epitopes on mutated variants which emerged over time.
Binding of the viral spike drives cell entry and infection by HIV-1 to the cellular CD4 and chemokine receptors with associated conformational change of the viral glycoprotein envelope, gp120. Crystal structures of the CD4-gp120-antibody ternary complex reveal a large internal gp120 cavity formed by three domains, the inner domain, outer domain and bridging sheet domain, and is capped by CD4 residue Phe43. Several structures of gp120 envelope in complex with various antibodies indicated that the bridging sheet adopts varied conformations. Here, we examine bridging sheet dynamics using a crystal structure of gp120 bound to the F105 antibody exhibiting an open bridging sheet conformation and with an added V3 loop. The two strands of the bridging sheet β2/β3 and β20/β21 are dissociated from each other and are directed away from the inner and outer domains. Analysis of Molecular Dynamics (MD) trajectories indicates that the β2/β3 and β20/β21 strands rapidly rearrange to interact with the V3 loop and the inner and outer domains, respectively. Residues N425 on β20 leads to the conformational rearrangement of the β20/β21 strands by interacting with W112 on the inner domain and F382 on the outer domain. An accompanying shift is observed in the inner domain as helix α1 exhibits a loss in helicity and pivots away from helix α5. The two simulations provide a framework for understanding the conformational diversity of the bridging sheet and the propensity of the β20/β21 strand to refold between the inner and outer domains of gp120, in the absence of a bound ligand.
HIV; gp120; CD4 binding; Conformational Change; Bridging Sheet; CD4-Antibody binding; Chemokine Receptor; Molecular Dynamics; protein-ligand interactions; HIV entry inhibitor
The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gp120 exterior glycoprotein is conformationally flexible. Upon binding the host cell receptor, CD4, gp120 assumes a conformation that is able to bind the chemokine receptors CCR5 or CXCR4, which act as coreceptors for the virus. CD4-binding-site (CD4BS) antibodies are neutralizing antibodies elicited during natural infection that are directed against gp120 epitopes that overlap the binding site for CD4. Recent studies (S. H. Xiang et al., J. Virol. 76:9888-9899, 2002) suggest that CD4BS antibodies recognize conformations of gp120 distinct from the CD4-bound conformation. This predicts that the binding of CD4BS antibodies will inhibit chemokine receptor binding. Here, we show that Fab fragments and complete immunoglobulin molecules of CD4BS antibodies inhibit CD4-independent gp120 binding to CCR5 and cell-cell fusion mediated by CD4-independent HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins. These results are consistent with a model in which the binding of CD4BS antibodies limits the ability of gp120 to assume a conformation required for coreceptor binding.