In human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subtype B, CXCR4 coreceptor use ranges from ∼20% in early infection to ∼50% in advanced disease. Coreceptor use by non-subtype B HIV is less well characterized. We studied coreceptor tropism of subtype A and D HIV-1 collected from 68 pregnant, antiretroviral drug-naive Ugandan women (HIVNET 012 trial). None of 33 subtype A or 10 A/D-recombinant viruses used the CXCR4 coreceptor. In contrast, nine (36%) of 25 subtype D viruses used both CXCR4 and CCR5 coreceptors. Clonal analyses of the nine subtype D samples with dual or mixed tropism revealed heterogeneous viral populations comprised of X4-, R5-, and dual-tropic HIV-1 variants. In five of the six samples with dual-tropic strains, V3 loop sequences of dual-tropic clones were identical to those of cocirculating R5-tropic clones, indicating the presence of CXCR4 tropism determinants outside of the V3 loop. These dual-tropic variants with R5-tropic-like V3 loops, which we designated “dual-R,” use CCR5 much more efficiently than CXCR4, in contrast to dual-tropic clones with X4-tropic-like V3 loops (“dual-X”). These observations have implications for pathogenesis and treatment of subtype D-infected individuals, for the association between V3 sequence and coreceptor tropism phenotype, and for understanding potential mechanisms of evolution from exclusive CCR5 use to efficient CXCR4 use by subtype D HIV-1.
Primary macrophages are infected by macrophage (M)-tropic but not T-cell line (T)-tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) strains, and CCR5 and CXCR-4 are the principal cofactors utilized for CD4-mediated entry by M-tropic and T-tropic isolates, respectively. Macrophages from individuals homozygous for an inactivating mutation of CCR5 are resistant to prototype M-tropic strains that depend on CCR5 but are permissive for a dual-tropic isolate, 89.6, that can use both CCR5 and CXCR-4, as well as CCR2b, CCR3, and CCR8. Here we show that 89.6 entry into CCR5-deficient macrophages is blocked by an anti-CXCR-4 antibody and by the CXCR-4-specific chemokine SDF but not by the ligands to CCR2b or CCR3. Reverse transcription-PCR demonstrated expression of CXCR-4 but not CCR3 or CCR8 in macrophages, while CCR2b was variable. Macrophage surface expression of CXCR-4 was confirmed by immunofluorescence staining and flow cytometry. Thus, CXCR-4 is expressed by primary macrophages and functions as a cofactor for entry by dual-tropic but not T-tropic HIV-1 isolates, and macrophage resistance to T-tropic strains does not result from a lack of the T-tropic entry cofactor CXCR-4. Since CXCR-4 on macrophages can be used by some but not other isolates, these results indicate that HIV-1 strains differ in how they utilize chemokine receptors as cofactors for entry and that the ability of a chemokine receptor to mediate HIV-1 entry differs, depending on the cell type in which it is expressed.
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.
Human immunodeficiency virus; Coreceptor; Chemokine receptors; CXCR4; CCR5; Genotype; Phenotype; Subtype C
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) requires both CD4 and a coreceptor to infect cells. Macrophage-tropic (M-tropic) HIV-1 strains utilize the chemokine receptor CCR5 in conjunction with CD4 to infect cells, while T-cell-tropic (T-tropic) strains generally utilize CXCR4 as a coreceptor. Some viruses can use both CCR5 and CXCR4 for virus entry (i.e., are dual-tropic), while other chemokine receptors can be used by a subset of virus strains. Due to the genetic diversity of HIV-1, HIV-2, and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and the potential for chemokine receptors other than CCR5 or CXCR4 to influence viral pathogenesis, we tested a panel of 28 HIV-1, HIV-2, and SIV envelope (Env) proteins for the ability to utilize chemokine receptors, orphan receptors, and herpesvirus-encoded chemokine receptor homologs by membrane fusion and virus infection assays. While all Env proteins used either CCR5 or CXCR4 or both, several also used CCR3. Use of CCR3 was strongly dependent on its surface expression levels, with a larger number of viral Env proteins being able to utilize this coreceptor at the higher levels of surface expression. ChemR1, an orphan receptor recently shown to bind the CC chemokine I309 (and therefore renamed CCR8), was expressed in monocyte and lymphocyte cell populations and functioned as a coreceptor for diverse HIV-1, HIV-2, and SIV Env proteins. Use of ChemR1/CCR8 by SIV strains was dependent in part on V3 loop sequences. The orphan receptor V28 supported Env-mediated cell-cell fusion by four T- or dual-tropic HIV-1 and HIV-2 strains. Three additional orphan receptors failed to function for any of the 28 Env proteins tested. Likewise, five of six seven-transmembrane-domain receptors encoded by herpesviruses did not support Env-mediated membrane fusion. However, the chemokine receptor US28, encoded by cytomegalovirus, did support inefficient infection by two HIV-1 strains. These findings indicate that additional chemokine receptors can function as HIV and SIV coreceptors and that surface expression levels can strongly influence coreceptor use.
Individuals who are homozygous for the 32-bp deletion in the gene coding for the chemokine receptor and major human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) coreceptor CCR5 (CCR5 −/−) lack functional cell surface CCR5 molecules and are relatively resistant to HIV-1 infection. HIV-1 infection in CCR5 −/− individuals, although rare, has been increasingly documented. We now report that the viral quasispecies from one such individual throughout disease is homogenous, T cell line tropic, and phenotypically syncytium inducing (SI); exclusively uses CXCR4; and replicates well in CCR5 −/− primary T cells. The recently discovered coreceptors BOB and Bonzo are not used. Although early and persistent SI variants have been described in longitudinal studies, this is the first demonstration of exclusive and persistent CXCR4 usage. With the caveat that the earliest viruses available from this subject were from approximately 4 years following primary infection, these data suggest that HIV-1 infection can be mediated and persistently maintained by viruses which exclusively utilize CXCR4. The lack of evolution toward the available minor coreceptors in this subject underscores the dominant biological roles of the major coreceptors CCR5 and CXCR4. This and two similar subjects (R. Biti, R. Ffrench, J. Young, B. Bennetts, G. Stewart, and T. Liang, Nat. Med. 3:252–253, 1997; I. Theodoreu, L. Meyer, M. Magierowska, C. Katlama, and C. Rouzioux, Lancet 349:1219–1220, 1997) showed relatively rapid CD4+ T-cell declines despite average or low initial viral RNA load. Since viruses which use CXCR4 exclusively cannot infect macrophages, these data have implications for the relative infection of the T-cell compartment versus the macrophage compartment in vivo and for the development of CCR5-based therapeutics.
The chemokine receptor CXCR4 is the major coreceptor used for cellular entry by T cell– tropic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 strains, whereas CCR5 is used by macrophage (M)-tropic strains. Here we show that a small-molecule inhibitor, ALX40-4C, inhibits HIV-1 envelope (Env)-mediated membrane fusion and viral entry directly at the level of coreceptor use. ALX40-4C inhibited HIV-1 use of the coreceptor CXCR4 by T- and dual-tropic HIV-1 strains, whereas use of CCR5 by M- and dual-tropic strains was not inhibited. Dual-tropic viruses capable of using both CXCR4 and CCR5 were inhibited by ALX40-4C only when cells expressed CXCR4 alone. ALX40-4C blocked stromal-derived factor (SDF)-1α–mediated activation of CXCR4 and binding of the monoclonal antibody 12G5 to cells expressing CXCR4. Overlap of the ALX40-4C binding site with that of 12G5 and SDF implicates direct blocking of Env interactions, rather than downregulation of receptor, as the mechanism of inhibition. Thus, ALX40-4C represents a small-molecule inhibitor of HIV-1 infection that acts directly against a chemokine receptor at the level of Env-mediated membrane fusion.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) variants that use the coreceptor CCR5 for entry (R5; macrophage tropic) predominate in early infection, while variants that use CXCR4 emerge during disease progression. Some late-stage variants use CXCR4 alone (X4; T-cell tropic), while others use both CXCR4 and CCR5 (R5X4; dualtropic). It has been proposed that dualtropic R5X4 strains are intermediates in the evolution from R5 to X4, and we hypothesized that a dualtropic primary-isolate quasispecies might contain variants that represent the spectrum of coreceptor use in vivo. We generated a panel of 35 functional full-length env clones from the primary-isolate quasispecies of a dualtropic prototype strain, HIV-1 89.6PI. Thirty of the functional env clones (86%) were R5X4, four (11%) were R5, and one (3%) was predominantly X4. V3 to V5 sequences did not reveal clustering by coreceptor usage, and no specific sequence motif or V3 charge pattern corresponded to coreceptor utilization. Complete sequencing of seven functionally divergent Env proteins revealed ≥98.7% homology and conservation of structurally important domains. Chimeras between the R5X4 89.6 prototype and an R5 variant indicated that multiple regions contributed to the use of CXCR4, while chimeras with the X4 variant implicated a single residue in V4 in CCR5 use. These results confirm, at the molecular level, both that dualtropic variants are a predominant component of late-stage syncytium-inducing isolates and that variants restricted to each coreceptor coexist with dualtropic species in vivo. Coreceptor-restricted minority variants may reflect residual R5 species from earlier in disease as well as emerging X4 variants.
The alpha-chemokine receptor fusin (CXCR-4) and beta-chemokine receptor CCR5 serve as entry cofactors for T-cell (T)-tropic and macrophage (M)-tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) strains, respectively, when expressed with CD4 in otherwise nonpermissive cells. Some M-tropic and dual-tropic strains can also utilize other beta-chemokine receptors, such as CCR2b and CCR3. A mutation of CCR5 (delta ccr5) was recently found to be common in certain populations and appears to confer protection against HIV-1 in vivo. Here, we show that this mutation results in a protein that is expressed intracellularly but not on the cell surface. Primary CD4 T cells from delta ccr5 homozygous individuals were highly resistant to infection with prototype M-tropic HIV-1 strains, including an isolate (YU-2) that uses CCR5 and CCR3, but were permissive for both a T-tropic strain (3B) and a dual-tropic variant (89.6) that uses CXCR-4, CCR5, CCR3, or CCR2b. These cells were also resistant to M-tropic patient isolates but were readily infected by T-tropic patient isolates. Primary macrophages from delta ccr5 homozygous individuals were also resistant to infection with M-tropic strains, including YU-2, but the dual-tropic strain 89.6 was able to replicate in them even though macrophages are highly resistant to CXCR-4-dependent T-tropic isolates. These data show that CCR5 is the essential cofactor for infection of both primary macrophages and T lymphocytes by most M-tropic strains of HIV-1. They also suggest that CCR3 does not function for HIV-1 entry in primary lymphocytes or macrophages, but that a molecule(s) other than CCR5 can support entry into macrophages by certain virus isolates. These studies further define the cellular basis for the resistance to HIV-1 infection of individuals lacking functional CCR5.
The chemokine receptors CCR5 and CXCR4 were found to function in vivo as the principal coreceptors for M-tropic and T-tropic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) strains, respectively. Since many primary cells express multiple chemokine receptors, it was important to determine if the efficiency of virus-cell fusion is influenced not only by the presence of the appropriate coreceptor (CXCR4 or CCR5) but also by the levels of other coreceptors expressed by the same target cells. We found that in cells with low to medium surface CD4 density, coexpression of CCR5 and CXCR4 resulted in a significant reduction in the fusion with CXCR4 domain (X4) envelope-expressing cells and in their susceptibility to infection with X4 viruses. The inhibition could be reversed either by increasing the density of surface CD4 or by antibodies against the N terminus and second extracellular domains of CCR5. In addition, treatment of macrophages with a combination of anti-CCR5 antibodies or β-chemokines increased their fusion with X4 envelope-expressing cells. Conversely, overexpression of CXCR4 compared with CCR5 inhibited CCR5-dependent HIV-dependent fusion in 3T3.CD4.401 cells. Thus, coreceptor competition for association with CD4 may occur in vivo and is likely to have important implications for the course of HIV type 1 infection, as well as for the outcome of coreceptor-targeted therapies.
In the course of infection, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) mutates, diverging into a “swarm” of viral quasispecies, and the predominance of CCR5- or CXCR4-utilizing quasispecies is strongly associated with the pattern of disease progression. Quantification of CCR5- and CXCR4-utilizing viruses in viral swarms is important in the investigation of the mechanisms of this phenomenon. Here, we report on a new real-time PCR-based methology for the evaluation of replication of individual CCR5- and CXCR4-utilizing variants. The assay is highly reproducible, with a coefficient of variation of <3%, and it accurately estimates the numbers of virus-specific RNA copies even when their difference in the mixture is 2 orders of magnitude. We demonstrate that replications of CCR5- and CXCR4-utilizing variants can be evaluated and distinguished in experimentally coinfected human lymphoid tissue. The assay we developed may facilitate study of the mechanisms of the R5-to-X4 switch in viral swarms in human tissues infected with HIV-1.
The differential use of CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) and CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) may be intimately involved in the transmission and progression of human immunodeficiency virus infection. Changes in coreceptor utilization have also been noted upon adaptation of primary isolates (PI) to growth in established T-cell lines. All of the T-cell line-adapted (TCLA) viruses studied to date utilize CXCR4 but not CCR5. This observation had been suggested as an explanation for the sensitivity of TCLA, but not PI, viruses to neutralization by recombinant gp120 antisera and V3-directed monoclonal antibodies, but recent studies have shown coreceptor utilization to be independent of neutralization sensitivity. Here we describe a newly isolated TCLA virus that is sensitive to neutralization but continues to utilize both CXCR4 and CCR5 for infection. This finding further divorces coreceptor specificity from neutralization sensitivity and from certain changes in cell tropism. That the TCLA virus can continue to utilize CCR5 despite the changes that occur upon adaptation and in the apparent absence of CCR5 expression in the FDA/H9 T-cell line suggests that the interaction between envelope protein and coreceptor may be mediated by multiple weak interactions along a diffuse surface.
The CXCR-4 chemokine receptor and CD4 behave as coreceptors for cell line-adapted human immunodeficiency virus types 1 and 2 (HIV-1 and HIV-2) and for dual-tropic HIV strains, which also use the CCR-5 coreceptor. The cell line-adapted HIV-1 strains LAI and NDK and the dual-tropic HIV-2 strain ROD were able to infect CD4+ cells expressing human CXCR-4, while only LAI was able to infect cells expressing the rat homolog of CXCR-4. This strain selectivity was addressed by using human-rat CXCR-4 chimeras. All chimeras tested mediated LAI infection, but only those containing the third extracellular domain (e3) of human CXCR-4 mediated NDK and ROD infection. The e3 domain might be required for the functional interaction of NDK and ROD, but not LAI, with CXCR-4. Alternatively, LAI might also interact with e3 but in a different way. Monoclonal antibody 12G5, raised against human CXCR-4, did not stain cells expressing rat CXCR-4. Chimeric human-rat CXCR-4 allowed us to map the 12G5 epitope in the e3 domain. The ability of 12G5 to neutralize infection by certain HIV-1 and HIV-2 strains is also consistent with the role of e3 in the coreceptor activity of CXCR-4. The deletion of most of the amino-terminal extracellular domain (e1) abolished the coreceptor activity of human CXCR-4 for ROD and NDK but not for LAI. These results indicate that HIV strains have different requirements for their interaction with CXCR-4. They also suggest differences in the interaction of dual-tropic HIV with CCR-5 and CXCR-4.
In a phase I/II evaluation of the CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100, human immunodeficiency virus RNA levels were significantly reduced in a single study subject who harbored CXCR4 (X4)-tropic virus, but not in subjects who harbored either dual/mixed (DM)-tropic or CCR5 (R5)-tropic virus (C. W. Hendrix et al., J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr. 37:1253-1262, 2004). In this study, we analyzed the envelope clones of DM-tropic virus in baseline and treated virus populations from 14 subjects. Ten subjects exhibited significant reductions in CXCR4-mediated infectivity after 10 days of AMD3100 therapy relative to baseline (X4 suppressor group), while four subjects had no reduction of CXCR4-mediated infectivity (X4 nonsuppressor group). The baseline viruses of the X4 suppressor group infected CXCR4-expressing cells less efficiently than those of the X4 nonsuppressor group. Clonal analysis indicated that the baseline viruses from the X4 suppressor group contained a higher proportion of R5-tropic variants mixed with CXCR4-using variants, while the X4 nonsuppressor group was enriched for CXCR4-using variants. AMD3100 suppressed X4-tropic variants in all subjects studied, but not all dualtropic variants. Furthermore, dualtropic variants that used CXCR4 efficiently were suppressed by AMD3100, while dualtropic variants that used CXCR4 poorly were not. This study demonstrated that AMD3100 has the ability to suppress both X4-tropic and certain dualtropic variants in vivo. The suppression of CXCR4-using variants by AMD3100 is dependent on both the tropism composition of the virus population and the efficiency of CXCR4 usage of individual variants.
Dual-tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) strains infect both primary macrophages and transformed T-cell lines. Prototype T-cell line-tropic (T-tropic) strains use CXCR4 as their principal entry coreceptor (X4 strains), while macrophagetropic (M-tropic) strains use CCR5 (R5 strains). Prototype dual tropic strains use both coreceptors (R5X4 strains). Recently, CXCR4 expressed on macrophages was found to support infection by certain HIV-1 isolates, including the dual-tropic R5X4 strain 89.6, but not by T-tropic X4 prototypes like 3B. To better understand the cellular basis for dual tropism, we analyzed the macrophage coreceptors used for Env-mediated cell-cell fusion as well as infection by several dual-tropic HIV-1 isolates. Like 89.6, the R5X4 strain DH12 fused with and infected both wild-type and CCR5-negative macrophages. The CXCR4-specific inhibitor AMD3100 blocked DH12 fusion and infection in macrophages that lacked CCR5 but not in wild-type macrophages. This finding indicates two independent entry pathways in macrophages for DH12, CCR5 and CXCR4. Three primary isolates that use CXCR4 but not CCR5 (tybe, UG021, and UG024) replicated efficiently in macrophages regardless of whether CCR5 was present, and AMD3100 blocking of CXCR4 prevented infection in both CCR5 negative and wild-type macrophages. Fusion mediated by UG021 and UG024 Envs in both wild-type and CCR5-deficient macrophages was also blocked by AMD3100. Therefore, these isolates use CXCR4 exclusively for entry into macrophages. These results confirm that macrophage CXCR4 can be used for fusion and infection by primary HIV-1 isolates and indicate that CXCR4 may be the sole macrophage coreceptor for some strains. Thus, dual tropism can result from two distinct mechanisms: utilization of both CCR5 and CXCR4 on macrophages and T-cell lines, respectively (dual-tropic R5X4), or the ability to efficiently utilize CXCR4 on both macrophages and T-cell lines (dual-tropic X4).
Envelope glycoproteins (Envs) of human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) are frequently able to use chemokine receptors, CXCR4 or CCR5, in the absence of CD4. However, while these Envs are commonly dual-tropic, no isolate has been described to date that is CD4 independent on both CXCR4 and CCR5. In this report we show that a variant of HIV-2/NIHz, termed HIV-2/vcp, previously shown to utilize CXCR4 without CD4, is also CD4 independent on rhesus (rh) CCR5, but requires CD4 to fuse with human (hu) CCR5. The critical determinant for this effect was an acidic amino acid at position 13 in the CCR5 N terminus, which is an asparagine in huCCR5 and an aspartic acid in rhCCR5. Transferring the huCCR5 N terminus with an N13D substitution to CCR2b or CXCR2 was sufficient to render these heterologous chemokine receptors permissive for CD4-independent fusion. Chimeric Envs between HIV-2/vcp and a CD4-dependent clone of HIV-2/NIHz as well as site-directed Env mutations implicated a positively charged amino acid (lysine or arginine) at position 427 in the C4 region of the HIV-2/vcp env gene product (VCP) gp120 as a key determinant for this phenotype. Because CD4-independent use of CCR5 mapped to a negatively charged amino acid in the CCR5 N terminus and a positively charged amino acid in the gp120 C4 domain, an electrostatic interaction between these residues or domains is likely. Although not required for CD4-dependent fusion, this interaction may serve to increase the binding affinity of Env and CCR5 and/or to facilitate subsequent conformational changes that are required for fusion. Because the structural requirements for chemokine receptor use by HIV are likely to be more stringent in the absence of CD4, CD4-independent viruses should be particularly useful in dissecting molecular events that are critical for viral entry.
The infection of CD4-negative cells by variants of tissue culture-adapted human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) or HIV-2 strains has been shown to be mediated by the CXCR4 coreceptor. Here we show that two in vitro-established CD4−/CCR5−/CXCR4+ human pre-T-cell lines (A3 and A5) can be productively infected by wild-type laboratory-adapted T-cell-tropic HIV-1 and HIV-2 strains in a CD4-independent, CXCR4-dependent fashion. Despite the absence of CCR5 expression, A3 and A5 cells were susceptible to infection by the simian immunodeficiency viruses SIVmac239 and SIVmac316. Thus, at least in A3 and A5 cells, one or more of the chemokine receptors can efficiently support the entry of HIV and SIV isolates in the absence of CD4. These findings suggest that to infect cells of different compartments, HIV and SIV could have evolved in vivo to bypass CD4 and to interact directly with an alternative receptor.
We have used a focal infectivity method to quantitatively analyze the CD4, CXCR-4, and CCR-5 dependencies for infections by diverse primary patient (PR) and laboratory-adapted (LA) isolates of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Infectivities of T-cell-tropic viruses were analyzed in a panel of HeLa-CD4 cell clones that have distinct quantities of CD4 and in human astroglioma U87MG-CD4 cells that express a large quantity of CD4 and become highly susceptible to infection after transfection with a CXCR-4 expression vector. The latter analysis indicated that PR as well as LA T-cell-tropic viruses efficiently employ CXCR-4 as a coreceptor in an optimal human cell line that contains abundant CD4. Previous uncertainties regarding coreceptor usage by PR T-cell-tropic HIV-1 isolates may therefore have derived from the assay conditions. As reported previously, unrelated LA and PR T-cell-tropic HIV-1 isolates differ in infectivities for the HeLa-CD4 clonal panel, with LA viruses infecting all clones equally and PR viruses infecting the clones in proportion to cellular CD4 quantities (D. Kabat, S. L. Kozak, K. Wherly, and B. Chesebro, J. Virol. 68:2570-2577, 1994). To analyze the basis for this difference, we used the HeLa-CD4 panel to compare a molecularly cloned T-cell-tropic PR virus (ELI1) with six of its variants that grow to different extents in CD4-positive leukemic cell lines and that differ only at specific positions in their gp120 and gp41 envelope glycoproteins. All mutations in gp120 or gp41 that contributed to laboratory adaptation preferentially enhanced infectivity for cells that had little CD4 and thereby decreased the CD4 dependencies of the infections. There was a close correlation between abilities of T-cell-tropic ELI viruses to grow in an expanded repertoire of leukemic cell lines, the reduced CD4 dependencies of their infections of the HeLa-CD4 panel, and their sensitivities to inactivation by soluble CD4 (sCD4). Since all of the ELI viruses can efficiently use CXCR-4 as a coreceptor, we conclude that an increase in viral affinity for CD4 rather than a switch in coreceptor specificity is principally responsible for laboratory adaption of T-cell-tropic HIV-1. Syncytium-inducing activities of the ELI viruses, especially when analyzed on cells with low amounts of CD4, were also highly correlated with their laboratory-adapted properties. Results with macrophage-tropic HIV-1 were strikingly different in both coreceptor and CD4 dependencies. When assayed in HeLa-CD4 cells transfected with an expression vector for CCR-5, macrophage-tropic HIV-1 isolates that had been molecularly cloned shortly after removal from patients were equally infectious for cells that had low or high CD4 quantities. Moreover, despite their substantial infectivities for cells that had only a trace of CD4, macrophage-tropic isolates were relatively resistant to inactivation by sCD4. We conclude that T-cell-tropic PR viruses bind weakly to CD4 and preferentially infect cells that coexpress CXCR-4 and large amounts of CD4. Their laboratory adaptation involves corresponding increases in affinities for CD4 and in abilities to infect cells that have relatively little CD4. In contrast, macrophage-tropic HIV-1 appears to interact weakly with CD4 although it can infect cells that coexpress CCR-5 and small quantities of CD4. We propose that cooperative binding of macrophage-tropic HIV-1 onto CCR-5 and CD4 may enhance virus adsorption and infectivity for cells that have only a trace of CD4.
Susceptibility to infection by the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1), both in vitro and in vivo, requires the interaction between its envelope (Env) glycoprotein gp120 Env and the primary receptor (R), CD4, and Co-R, either CCR5 or CXCR4, members of the chemokine receptor family. CCR5-dependent (R5) viruses are responsible for both inter-individual transmission and for sustaining the viral pandemics, while CXCR4-using viruses, usually dualtropic R5X4, emerge in ca. 50% of individuals only in the late, immunologically suppressed stage of disease. The hypothesis that such a major biological asymmetry is explained exclusively by the availability of cells expressing CCR5 or CXCR4 is challenged by several evidences. In this regard, binding of the HIV-1 gp120 Env to the entry R complex, i.e. CD4 and a chemokine R, leads to two major events: virion-cell membrane fusion and a cascade of cell signaling. While the fusion/entry process has been well defined, the role of R/Co-R signaling in the HIV-1 life cycle has been less characterized. Indeed, depending on the cellular model studied, the capacity of HIV-1 to trigger a flow of events favoring either its own latency or replication remains a debated issue. In this article, we will review the major findings related to the role of HIV R/Co-R signaling in the steps following viral entry and leading to viral spreading in CD4+ T lymphocytes.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is highly compartmentalized, with distinct viral genotypes being found in the lungs, brain, and other organs compared with blood. CCR5 and CXCR4 are the principal HIV-1 coreceptors, and a number of other molecules support entry in vitro but their roles in vivo are uncertain. To address the relationship between tissue compartmentalization and the selective use of entry coreceptors, we generated functional env clones from primary isolates derived from the lungs and blood of three infected individuals and analyzed their use of the principal, secondary, orphan, and virus-encoded coreceptors for fusion. All Env proteins from lung viruses used CCR5 but not CXCR4, while those from blood viruses used CCR5 or CXCR4 or both. The orphan receptor APJ was widely used for fusion by Env proteins from both blood and lung viruses, but none used the cytomegalovirus-encoded receptor US28. Fusion mediated by the secondary coreceptors CCR2b, CCR3, CCR8, and CX3CR1 and orphan receptors GPR1, GPR15, and STRL33 was variable and heterogeneous, with relatively broad utilization by env clones from isolates of one subject but limited use by env clones from the other two subjects. However, there was no clear distinction between blood and lung viruses in secondary or orphan coreceptor fusion patterns. In contrast to fusion, none of the secondary or orphan receptors enabled efficient productive infection. These results confirm, at the level of cofactor utilization, previous observations that HIV-1 populations in the lungs and blood are biologically distinct and demonstrate diversity within lung-derived as well as blood-derived quasispecies. However, the heterogeneity in coreceptor utilization among clones from each isolate and the lack of clear distinction between lung- and blood-derived Env proteins argue against selective coreceptor utilization as a major determinant of compartmentalization.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) preferentially utilizes the CCR5 coreceptor for target cell entry in the acute phase of infection, while later in disease progression the virus switches to the CXCR4 coreceptor in approximately 50% of patients. In response to HIV-1 the adaptive immune response is triggered, and antibody (Ab) production is elicited to block HIV-1 entry. We recently determined that dendritic cells (DCs) can efficiently capture Ab-neutralized HIV-1, restore infectivity, and transmit infectious virus to target cells. Here, we tested the effect of Abs on trans transmission of CCR5 or CXCR4 HIV-1 variants. We observed that transmission of HIV-1 by immature as well as mature DCs was significantly higher for CXCR4- than CCR5-tropic viral strains. Additionally, neutralizing Abs directed against either the gp41 or gp120 region of the envelope such as 2F5, 4E10, and V3-directed Abs inhibited transmission of CCR5-tropic HIV-1, whereas Ab-treated CXCR4-tropic virus demonstrated unaltered or increased transmission. To further study the effects of coreceptor usage we tested molecularly cloned HIV-1 variants with modifications in the envelope that were based on longitudinal gp120 V1 and V3 variable loop sequences from a patient progressing to AIDS. We observed that DCs preferentially facilitated infection of CD4+ T lymphocytes of viral strains with an envelope phenotype found late in disease. Taken together, our results illustrate that DCs transmit CXCR4-tropic HIV-1 much more efficiently than CCR5 strains; we hypothesize that this discrimination could contribute to the in vivo coreceptor switch after seroconversion and could be responsible for the increase in viral load.
We use mathematical models to determine possible mechanisms contributing to the evolution and rise of virulent CXCR4-tropic HIV in vivo. The models predict that the ability of the virus to specialize on a given target cell type depends on the exact fitness landscape of the viral mutants. Because this fitness landscape varies between people, this may explain why the evolution of fully CXCR4-tropic strains only occurs in about 50% of infected patients. Assuming that CXCR4-tropic HIV may evolve, we investigate the effect of different immune responses on the rise of such virulent strains. If we assume that CXCR4-tropic HIV is more cytopathic than CCR5-tropic virus, virulent CXCR4-tropic mutants remain suppressed at low levels both in the absence of an immune response, and in the presence of responses that act on the virus before integration into the host genome. On the other hand, this difference in cytopathogenicity is reduced by the presence of immune responses acting on infected cells, allowing CXCR4-tropic HIV to coexist with the CCR5-tropic virus. These results may help to interpret experimental data and are discussed with reference to the literature.
Coreceptor specificity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) strains is generally defined in vitro in cell lines expressing CCR5 or CXCR4, but lymphocytes and macrophages are the principal targets in vivo. CCR5-using (R5) variants dominate early in infection, but strains that use CXCR4 emerge later in a substantial minority of subjects. Many or most CXCR4-using variants can use both CXCR4 and CCR5 (R5X4), but the pathways that are actually used to cause infection in primary cells and in vivo are unknown. We examined several R5X4 prototype and primary isolates and found that they all were largely or completely restricted to CXCR4-mediated entry in primary lymphocytes, even though lymphocytes are permissive for CCR5-mediated entry by R5 strains. In contrast, in primary macrophages R5X4 isolates used both CCR5 and CXCR4. The R5X4 strains were also more sensitive than R5 strains to CCR5 blocking, suggesting that interactions between the R5X4 strains and CCR5 are less efficient. These results indicate that coreceptor phenotyping in transformed cells does not necessarily predict utilization in primary cells, that variability exists among HIV-1 isolates in the ability to use CCR5 expressed on lymphocytes, and that many or most strains characterized as R5X4 are functionally X4 in primary lymphocytes. Less efficient interactions between R5X4 strains and CCR5 may be responsible for the inability to use CCR5 on lymphocytes, which express relatively low CCR5 levels. Since isolates that acquire CXCR4 utilization retain the capacity to use CCR5 on macrophages despite their inability to use it on lymphocytes, these results also raise the possibility that a CCR5-mediated macrophage reservoir is required for sustained infection in vivo.
The major human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) coreceptors are the chemokine receptors CCR5 and CXCR4. The patterns of expression of the major coreceptors and their use by HIV-1 strains largely explain viral tropism at the level of entry. However, while virus infection is dependent upon the presence of CD4 and an appropriate coreceptor, it can be influenced by a number of factors, including receptor concentration, affinity between envelope gp120 and receptors, and potentially receptor conformation. Indeed, seven-transmembrane domain receptors, such as CCR5, can exhibit conformational heterogeneity, although the significance for virus infection is uncertain. Using a panel of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to CXCR4, we found that CXCR4 on both primary and transformed T cells as well as on primary B cells exhibited considerable conformational heterogeneity. The conformational heterogeneity of CXCR4 explains the cell-type-dependent ability of CXCR4 antibodies to block chemotaxis to stromal cell-derived factor 1α and to inhibit HIV-1 infection. In addition, the MAb most commonly used to study CXCR4 expression, 12G5, recognizes only a subpopulation of CXCR4 molecules on all primary cell types analyzed. As a result, CXCR4 concentrations on these important cell types have been underestimated to date. Finally, while the factors responsible for altering CXCR4 conformation are not known, we found that they do not involve CXCR4 glycosylation, sulfation of the N-terminal domain of CXCR4, or pertussis toxin-sensitive G-protein coupling. The fact that this important HIV-1 coreceptor exists in multiple conformations could have implications for viral entry and for the development of receptor antagonists.
Many HIV-1 isolates at the late stage of disease are capable of using both CXCR4 and CCR5 in transfected cell lines, and are thus termed dual-tropic. Here we asked whether these dual-tropic variants also use both coreceptors for productive infection in a natural human lymphoid tissue microenvironment, and whether use of a particular coreceptor is associated with viral cytopathicity. We used 3 cloned dual-tropic HIV-1 variants, 89.6 and its chimeras 89-v345.SF and 89-v345.FL, which use both CCR5 and CXCR4 in transfected cell lines. In human lymphoid tissue ex vivo, one variant preferentially used CCR5, another preferentially used CXCR4, and a third appeared to be a true dual-tropic variant. The 2 latter variants severely depleted CD4+ T cells, whereas cytopathicity of the virus that used CCR5 only in lymphoid tissue was mild and confined to CCR5+/CD4+ T cells. Thus, (a) HIV-1 coreceptor usage in vitro cannot be unconditionally extrapolated to natural microenvironment of human lymphoid tissue; (b) dual-tropic viruses are not homogeneous in their coreceptor usage in lymphoid tissue, but probably comprise a continuum between the 2 polar variants that use CXCR4 or CCR5 exclusively; and (c) cytopathicity toward the general CD4+ T cell population in lymphoid tissue is associated with the use of CXCR4.
Chemokine receptors CCR5 and CXCR4 are the primary fusion coreceptors utilized for CD4-mediated entry by macrophage (M)- and T-cell line (T)-tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) strains, respectively. Here we demonstrate that HIV-1 Tat protein, a potent viral transactivator shown to be released as a soluble protein by infected cells, differentially induced CXCR4 and CCR5 expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. CCR3, a less frequently used coreceptor for certain M-tropic strains, was also induced. CXCR4 was induced on both lymphocytes and monocytes/macrophages, whereas CCR5 and CCR3 were induced on monocytes/macrophages but not on lymphocytes. The pattern of chemokine receptor induction by Tat was distinct from that by phytohemagglutinin. Moreover, Tat-induced CXCR4 and CCR5 expression was dose dependent. Monocytes/macrophages were more susceptible to Tat-mediated induction of CXCR4 and CCR5 than lymphocytes, and CCR5 was more readily induced than CXCR4. The concentrations of Tat effective in inducing CXCR4 and CCR5 expression were within the picomolar range and close to the range of extracellular Tat observed in sera from HIV-1-infected individuals. The induction of CCR5 and CXCR4 expression correlated with Tat-enhanced infectivity of M- and T-tropic viruses, respectively. Taken together, our results define a novel role for Tat in HIV-1 pathogenesis that promotes the infectivity of both M- and T-tropic HIV-1 strains in primary human leukocytes, notably in monocytes/macrophages.