Retroviruses integrate into cellular DNA nonrandomly. Lentiviruses such as human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) favor the bodies of active genes and gene-enriched transcriptionally active regions of chromosomes. The interaction between lentiviral integrase and the cellular protein lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF)/p75 underlies the targeting of gene bodies, whereas recent research has highlighted roles for the HIV-1 capsid (CA) protein and cellular factors implicated in viral nuclear import, including transportin 3 (TNPO3) and nucleoporin 358 (NUP358), in the targeting of gene-dense regions of chromosomes. Here, we show that CA mutations, which include the substitution of Asp for Asn74 (N74D), significantly reduce the dependency of HIV-1 on LEDGF/p75 during infection and that this difference correlates with the efficiency of viral DNA integration. The distribution of integration sites mapped by Illumina sequencing confirms that the N74D mutation reduces integration into gene-rich regions of chromosomes and gene bodies and reveals previously unrecognized roles for NUP153 (another HIV-1 cofactor implicated in viral nuclear import) and LEDGF/p75 in the targeting of the viral preintegration complex to gene-dense regions of chromatin. A role for the CA protein in determining the dependency of HIV-1 on LEDGF/p75 during infection highlights a connection between the viral capsid and chromosomal DNA integration.
It has been proposed that most drug-resistant mutants, resulting from a single-nucleotide change, exist at low frequency in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) populations in vivo prior to the initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART). To test this hypothesis and to investigate the emergence of resistant mutants with drug selection, we developed a new ultrasensitive allele-specific PCR (UsASP) assay, which can detect drug resistance mutations at a frequency of ≥0.001% of the virus population. We applied this assay to plasma samples obtained from macaques infected with an SIV variant containing HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) (RT-simian-human immunodeficiency [SHIV]mne), before and after they were exposed to a short course of efavirenz (EFV) monotherapy. We detected RT inhibitor (RTI) resistance mutations K65R and M184I but not K103N in 2 of 2 RT-SHIV-infected macaques prior to EFV exposure. After three doses over 4 days of EFV monotherapy, 103N mutations (AAC and AAT) rapidly emerged and increased in the population to levels of ∼20%, indicating that they were present prior to EFV exposure. The rapid increase of 103N mutations from <0.001% to 20% of the viral population indicates that the replicating virus population size in RT-SHIV-infected macaques must be 106 or more infected cells per replication cycle.
The antiviral factor CPSF6-358 restricts human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection through an interaction with capsid (CA), preventing virus nuclear entry and integration. HIV-1 acquires resistance to CPSF6-358 through an N74D mutation of CA that impairs binding of the antiviral factor. Here we examined the determinants within CPSF6-358 that are necessary for CA-specific interaction. Residues 314 to 322 include amino acids that are essential for CPSF6-358 restriction of HIV-1. Fusion of CPSF6 residues 301 to 358 to rhesus TRIM5α is also sufficient to restrict wild-type but not N74D HIV-1. Restriction is lost if CPSF6 residues in the amino acid 314 to 322 interaction motif are mutated. Examination of the CA targeting motif in CPSF6-358 did not reveal evidence of positive selection. Given the sensitivity of different primate lentiviruses to CPSF6-358 and apparent conservation of this interaction, our data suggest that CPSF6-358-mediated targeting of HIV-1 could provide a broadly effective antiviral strategy.
The antiviral factor CPSF6-358 interferes with the nuclear entry of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). HIV-1 acquires resistance to CPSF6-358 through the N74D mutation of the capsid (CA), which alters its nuclear entry pathway. Here we show that compared to wild-type (WT) HIV-1, N74D HIV-1 is more sensitive to cyclosporine, has increased sensitivity to nevirapine, and is impaired in macrophage infection prior to reverse transcription. These phenotypes suggest a difference in the N74D reverse transcription complex that manifests early after infection and prior to interaction with the nuclear pore. Overall, our data indicate that N74D HIV-1 replication in transformed cells requires cyclophilin A but is dependent on other interactions in macrophages.
The HIV-1 genome enters cells inside a shell comprised of capsid (CA) protein. Variation in CA sequence alters HIV-1 infectivity and escape from host restriction factors. However, apart from the Cyclophilin A-binding loop, CA has no known interfaces with which to interact with cellular cofactors. Here we describe a novel protein-protein interface in the N-terminal domain of HIV-1 CA, determined by X-ray crystallography, which mediates both viral restriction and host cofactor dependence. The interface is highly conserved across lentiviruses and is accessible in the context of a hexameric lattice. Mutation of the interface prevents binding to and restriction by CPSF6-358, a truncated cytosolic form of the RNA processing factor, cleavage and polyadenylation specific factor 6 (CPSF6). Furthermore, mutations that prevent CPSF6 binding also relieve dependence on nuclear entry cofactors TNPO3 and RanBP2. These results suggest that the HIV-1 capsid mediates direct host cofactor interactions to facilitate viral infection.
In order to infect a host cell, HIV-1 must interact with and exploit cellular cofactors. Mutations within capsid, the protein shell that surrounds the virus, have been shown to affect virus usage of these cofactors and susceptibility to host antiviral proteins. However, with the exception of the Cyclophilin A-binding loop, there is no defined protein interface on the capsid that mediates interactions with cellular proteins. Here, we describe the identification of a conserved interface on HIV-1 capsid that binds the host protein CPSF6 and determines viral dependence on nuclear transport cofactors. This data illustrates how host-virus interactions allow HIV-1 to hitch a ride into the nucleus and reveals a potential new target for antiviral drugs.
The impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on the genetics of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) populations has been incompletely characterized. We analyzed SIV genetic variation before, during, and after ART in a macaque model. Six pigtail macaques were infected with an SIV/HIV chimeric virus, RT-SHIVmne, in which SIV reverse transcriptase (RT) was replaced by HIV-1 RT. Three animals received a short course of efavirenz (EFV) monotherapy before combination ART was started. All macaques received 20 weeks of tenofovir, emtricitabine, and EFV. Plasma virus populations were analyzed by single-genome sequencing. Population diversity was measured by average pairwise difference, and changes in viral genetics were assessed by phylogenetic and panmixia analyses. After 20 weeks of ART, viral diversity was not different from pretherapy viral diversity despite more than 10,000-fold declines in viremia, indicating that, within this range, there is no relationship between diversity and plasma viremia. In two animals with consistent SIV RNA suppression to <15 copies/ml during ART, there was no evidence of viral evolution. In contrast, in the four macaques with viremias >15 copies/ml during therapy, there was divergence between pre- and during-ART virus populations. Drug resistance mutations emerged in two of these four animals, resulting in virologic failure in the animal with the highest level of pretherapy viremia. Taken together, these findings indicate that viral diversity does not decrease with suppressive ART, that ongoing replication occurs with viremias >15 copies/ml, and that in this macaque model of ART drug resistance likely emerges as a result of incomplete suppression and preexisting drug resistance mutations.
Recent genome-wide screens have highlighted an important role for transportin 3 in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection and preintegration complex (PIC) nuclear import. Moreover, HIV-1 integrase interacted with recombinant transportin 3 protein under conditions whereby Moloney murine leukemia virus (MLV) integrase failed to do so, suggesting that integrase-transportin 3 interactions might underscore active retroviral PIC nuclear import. Here we correlate infectivity defects in transportin 3 knockdown cells with in vitro protein binding affinities for an expanded set of retroviruses that include simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), bovine immunodeficiency virus (BIV), equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) to critically address the role of integrase-transportin 3 interactions in viral infection. Lentiviruses, with the exception of FIV, display a requirement for transportin 3 in comparison to MLV and RSV, yielding an infection-based dependency ranking of SIV > HIV-1 > BIV and EIAV > MLV, RSV, and FIV. In vitro pulldown and surface plasmon resonance assays, in contrast, define a notably different integrase-transportin 3 binding hierarchy: FIV, HIV-1, and BIV > SIV and MLV > EIAV. Our results therefore fail to support a critical role for integrase binding in dictating transportin 3 dependency during retrovirus infection. In addition to integrase, capsid has been highlighted as a retroviral nuclear import determinant. Accordingly, MLV/HIV-1 chimera viruses pinpoint the genetic determinant of sensitization to transportin 3 knockdown to the HIV-1 capsid protein. We therefore conclude that capsid, not integrase, is the dominant viral factor that dictates transportin 3 dependency during HIV-1 infection.
Exogenous retroviruses are obligate cellular parasites that co-opt a number of host proteins and functions to enable their replication and spread. Several host factors that restrict HIV and other retroviral infections have also recently been described. Here we demonstrate that Mov10, a protein associated with P-bodies that has a putative RNA-helicase domain, when overexpressed in cells can inhibit the production of infectious retroviruses. Interestingly, reducing the endogenous Mov10 levels in virus-producing cells through siRNA treatment also modestly suppresses HIV infectivity. The actions of Mov10 are not limited to HIV, however, as ectopic expression of Mov10 restricts the production of other lentiviruses as well as the gammaretrovirus, murine leukemia virus. We found that HIV produced in the presence of high levels of Mov10 is restricted at the pre-reverse transcription stage in target cells. Finally, we show that either helicase mutation or truncation of the C-terminal half of Mov10, where a putative RNA-helicase domain is located, maintained most of its HIV inhibition; whereas removing the N-terminal half of Mov10 completely abolished its activity on HIV. Together these results suggest that Mov10 could be required during the lentiviral lifecycle and that its perturbation disrupts generation of infectious viral particles. Because Mov10 is implicated as part of the P-body complex, these findings point to the potential role of cytoplasmic RNA processing machinery in infectious retroviral production.
To study the dynamics of wild-type and drug-resistant HIV-1 RT variants, we developed a methodology that follows the fates of individual genomes over time within the viral quasispecies. Single genome sequences were obtained from 3 pigtail macaques infected with a recombinant simian immunodeficiency virus containing the RT coding region from HIV-1 (RT-SHIV) and treated with short-course efavirenz monotherapy 13 weeks post-infection followed by daily combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) beginning at week 17. Bioinformatics tools were constructed to trace individual genomes from the beginning of infection to the end of the treatment.
A well characterized challenge RT-SHIV inoculum was used to infect three monkeys. The RT-SHIV inoculum had 9 variant subpopulations and the dominant subpopulation accounted for 80% of the total genomes. In two of the three monkeys, the inoculated wild-type virus was rapidly replaced by new wild type variants. By week 13, the original dominant subpopulation in the inoculum was replaced by new dominant subpopulations, followed by emergence of variants carrying known NNRTI resistance mutations. However, during ART, virus subpopulations containing resistance mutations did not outgrow the wide-type subpopulations until a minor subpopulation carrying linked drug resistance mutations (K103N/M184I) emerged. We observed that persistent viremia during ART is primarily made up of wild type subpopulations. We also found that subpopulations carrying the V75L mutation, not known to be associated with NNRTI resistance, emerged initially in week 13 in two macaques. Eventually, all subpopulations from these two macaques carried the V75L mutation.
This study quantitatively describes virus evolution and population dynamics patterns in an animal model. The fact that wild type subpopulations remained as dominant subpopulations during ART treatment suggests that the presence or absence of at least some known drug resistant mutations may not greatly affect virus replication capacity in vivo. Additionally, the emergence and prevalence of V75L indicates that this mutation may provide the virus a selective advantage, perhaps escaping the host immure system surveillance. Our new method to quantitatively analyze viral population dynamics enabled us to observe the relative competitiveness and adaption of different viral variants and provided a valuable tool for studying HIV subpopulation emergence, persistence, and decline during ART.
Cells derived from native rodents have limits at distinct steps of HIV replication. Rat primary CD4 T-cells, but not macrophages, display a profound transcriptional deficit that is ameliorated by transient trans-complementation with the human Tat-interacting protein Cyclin T1 (hCycT1).
Here, we generated transgenic rats that selectively express hCycT1 in CD4 T-cells and macrophages. hCycT1 expression in rat T-cells boosted early HIV gene expression to levels approaching those in infected primary human T-cells. hCycT1 expression was necessary, but not sufficient, to enhance HIV transcription in T-cells from individual transgenic animals, indicating that endogenous cellular factors are critical co-regulators of HIV gene expression in rats. T-cells from hCD4/hCCR5/hCycT1-transgenic rats did not support productive infection of prototypic wild-type R5 HIV-1 strains ex vivo, suggesting one or more significant limitation in the late phase of the replication cycle in this primary rodent cell type. Remarkably, we identify a replication-competent HIV-1 GFP reporter strain (R7/3 YU-2 Env) that displays characteristics of a spreading, primarily cell-to-cell-mediated infection in primary T-cells from hCD4/hCCR5-transgenic rats. Moreover, the replication of this recombinant HIV-1 strain was significantly enhanced by hCycT1 transgenesis. The viral determinants of this so far unique replicative ability are currently unknown.
Thus, hCycT1 expression is beneficial to de novo HIV infection in a transgenic rat model, but additional genetic manipulations of the host or virus are required to achieve full permissivity.
Previous studies have demonstrated an association between polymorphisms in the regulatory regions of Cyclophilin A (CypA) and susceptibility to both HIV-1 infection and disease progression. Here we studied whether these polymorphisms are associated with susceptibility to HIV-1 infection and disease progression in the Amsterdam Cohort on HIV-1 infection and AIDS (ACS) in a group of men having sex with men (MSM) and drug users (DU).
We screened participants of the ACS for the C1604G and A1650G polymorphisms in the regulatory regions of CypA. The prevalence of the 1650G allele was significantly higher in high risk seronegative MSM than in HIV-1 infected MSM. However, C1604G or A1650G were not associated with the clinical course of infection in MSM of the ACS. Interestingly, participants of the ACS-DU who carried the 1604G allele showed a significantly accelerated progression when viral RNA load above 104.5 copies per ml plasma was used as an endpoint in survival analysis.
The results obtained in this study suggest that the A1650G polymorphism in the regulatory region of the CypA gene may be associated with protection from HIV-1 infection, while the 1604G allele may have a weak association with the clinical course of infection in DU.
The rising prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in women, especially in resource-limited settings, accentuates the need for accessible, inexpensive, and female-controlled preexposure prophylaxis strategies to prevent mucosal transmission of the virus. While many compounds can inactivate HIV-1 in vitro, evaluation in animal models for mucosal transmission of virus may help identify which approaches will be effective in vivo. Macaques challenged intravaginally with pathogenic simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVmac251) provide a model to preclinically evaluate candidate microbicides. 2-Hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (BCD) prevents HIV-1 and SIV infection of target cells at subtoxic doses in vitro. Consistent with these findings, intravaginal challenge of macaques with SIVmac251 preincubated with BCD prevented mucosal transmission, as measured by plasma viremia and antiviral antibodies, through 10 weeks postchallenge. In an initial challenge, BCD applied topically prior to SIVmac251 prevented intravaginal transmission of virus compared to controls (P < 0.0001). However, upon a second virus challenge following BCD pretreatment, the majority of the previously protected animals became infected. The mechanism through which animals become infected at a frequency similar to that of controls after prior exposure to BCD and SIVmac251 in subsequent intravaginal virus challenges (P = 0.63), despite the potent antiviral properties of BCD, remains to be determined. These results highlight the unpredictability of antiviral compounds as topical microbicides and suggest that repeated exposures to candidate treatments should be considered for in vivo evaluation.
The human nuclear envelope proteins emerin and lamina-associated polypeptide 2α (LAP2α) have been proposed to aid in the early replication steps of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and murine leukemia virus (MLV). However, whether these factors are essential for HIV-1 or MLV infection has been questioned. Prior studies in which conflicting results were obtained were highly dependent on RNA interference-mediated gene silencing. To shed light on these contradictory results, we examined whether HIV-1 or MLV could infect primary cells from mice deficient for emerin, LAP2α, or both emerin and LAP2α. We observed HIV-1 and MLV infectivity in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) from emerin knockout, LAP2α knockout, or emerin and LAP2α double knockout mice to be comparable in infectivity to wild-type littermate-derived MEFs, indicating that both emerin and LAP2α were dispensable for HIV-1 and MLV infection of dividing, primary mouse cells. Because emerin has been suggested to be important for infection of human macrophages by HIV-1, we also examined HIV-1 transduction of macrophages from wild-type mice or knockout mice, but again we did not observe a difference in susceptibility. These findings prompted us to reexamine the role of human emerin in supporting HIV-1 and MLV infection. Notably, both viruses efficiently infected human cells expressing high levels of dominant-negative emerin. We thus conclude that emerin and LAP2α are not required for the early replication of HIV-1 and MLV in mouse or human cells.
HIV-1 is dependent upon cellular co-factors to mediate its replication cycle in CD4+ T cells and macrophages, the two major cell types infected by the virus in vivo. One critical co-factor is Cyclin T1, a subunit of a general RNA polymerase II elongation factor known as P-TEFb. Cyclin T1 is targeted directly by the viral Tat protein to activate proviral transcription. Cyclin T1 is up-regulated when resting CD4+ T cells are activated and during macrophage differentiation or activation, conditions that are also necessary for high levels of HIV-1 replication. Because Cyclin T1 is a subunit of a transcription factor, the up-regulation of Cyclin T1 in these cells results in the induction of cellular genes, some of which might be HIV-1 co-factors. Using shRNA depletions of Cyclin T1 and transcriptional profiling, we identified 54 cellular mRNAs that appear to be Cyclin T1-dependent for their induction in activated CD4+ T Jurkat T cells and during differentiation and activation of MM6 cells, a human monocytic cell line. The promoters for these Cyclin T1-dependent genes (CTDGs) are over-represented in two transcription factor binding sites, SREBP1 and ARP1. Notably, 10 of these CTDGs have been reported to be involved in HIV-1 replication, a significant over-representation of such genes when compared to randomly generated lists of 54 genes (p value<0.00021). The results of siRNA depletion and dominant-negative protein experiments with two CTDGs identified here, CDK11 and Casein kinase 1 gamma 1, suggest that these genes are involved either directly or indirectly in HIV-1 replication. It is likely that the 54 CTDGs identified here include novel HIV-1 co-factors. The presence of CTDGs in the protein space that was available for HIV-1 to sample during its evolution and acquisition of Tat function may provide an explanation for why CTDGs are enriched in viral co-factors.
GBV-C infection is associated with prolonged survival in HIV-infected people and GBV-C inhibits HIV replication in co-infection models. Expression of the GBV-C nonstructural phosphoprotein 5A (NS5A) decreases surface levels of the HIV co-receptor CXCR4, induces the release of SDF-1 and inhibits HIV replication in Jurkat CD4+ T cell lines.
Jurkat cell lines stably expressing NS5A protein and peptides were generated and HIV replication in these cell lines assessed. HIV replication was significantly inhibited in all cell lines expressing NS5A amino acids 152–165. Substitution of an either alanine or glycine for the serine at position 158 (S158A or S158G) resulted in a significant decrease in the HIV inhibitory effect. In contrast, substituting a phosphomimetic amino acid (glutamic acid; S158E) inhibited HIV as well as the parent peptide. HIV inhibition was associated with lower levels of surface expression of the HIV co-receptor CXCR4 and increased release of the CXCR4 ligand, SDF-1 compared to control cells. Incubation of CD4+ T cell lines with synthetic peptides containing amino acids 152–167 or the S158E mutant peptide prior to HIV infection resulted in HIV replication inhibition compared to control peptides.
Expression of GBV-C NS5A amino acids 152–165 are sufficient to inhibit HIV replication in vitro, and the serine at position 158 appears important for this effect through either phosphorylation or structural changes in this peptide. The addition of synthetic peptides containing 152–167 or the S158E substitution to Jurkat cells resulted in HIV replication inhibition in vitro. These data suggest that GBV-C peptides or a peptide mimetic may offer a novel, cellular-based approach to antiretroviral therapy.
The Gag polyproteins of gammaretroviruses contain a conserved p12 domain between MA and CA that plays critical roles in virus assembly, reverse transcription and nuclear integration. Here we show using nuclear magnetic resonance, that p12 is unstructured in a Moloney murine leukemia virus (MMLV) Gag fragment that includes the N-terminal domain of CA (p12-CAN). Furthermore, no long range interactions were observed between the domains, as has been previously predicted. Flexibility appears to be a common feature of Gag “late” domains required for virus release during budding. Residues near the N-terminus of CAN that form a β-hairpin in the mature CA protein are unfolded in p12-CAN, consistent with proposals that hairpin formation helps trigger capsid assembly.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are crucial in the generation and regulation of adaptive immunity. Given their pivotal role in marshalling immune responses, HIV has evolved ways to exploit DCs to facilitate viral dissemination and to evade antiviral immunity. Defining the mechanisms that underlie cell–cell transmission of HIV and understanding the role of DCs in this process should help us in the fight against HIV infection. This Review highlights the latest advances in our understanding of the interactions between DCs and HIV, and focuses on the mechanisms of DC-mediated viral dissemination.
Dendritic cells (DCs) potently stimulate the cell-cell transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). However, the mechanisms that underlie DC transmission of HIV-1 to CD4+ T cells are not fully understood. DC-SIGN, a C-type lectin, efficiently promotes HIV-1 trans infection. DC-SIGN is expressed in monocyte-derived DCs (MDDCs), macrophage subsets, activated B lymphocytes, and various mucosal tissues. MDDC-mediated HIV-1 transmission to CD4+ T cells involves DC-SIGN-dependent and -independent mechanisms. DC-SIGN transmission of HIV-1 depends on the donor cell type. HIV-1 Nef can upregulate DC-SIGN expression and promote DC-T-cell clustering and HIV-1 spread. Nef also downregulates CD4 expression; however, the effect of the CD4 downmodulation on DC-mediated HIV-1 transmission has not been examined. Here, we report that CD4 expression levels correlate with inefficient HIV-1 transmission by monocytic cells expressing DC-SIGN. Expression of CD4 on Raji B cells strongly impaired DC-SIGN-mediated HIV-1 transmission to T cells. By contrast, enhanced HIV-1 transmission was observed when CD4 molecules on MDDCs and DC-SIGN-CD4-expressing cell lines were blocked with specific antibodies. Coexpression of CD4 and DC-SIGN in Raji cells promoted the internalization and intracellular retention of HIV-1. Interestingly, internalized HIV-1 particles were sorted and confined to late endosomal compartments that were positive for CD63 and CD81. Furthermore, in HIV-1-infected MDDCs, significant downregulation of CD4 by Nef expression correlated with enhanced viral transmission. These results suggest that CD4, which is present at various levels in DC-SIGN-positive primary cells, is a key regulator of HIV-1 transmission.
We investigated the relationship between the level of reverse transcriptase (RT) in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) particles and susceptibility to nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). HIV-1 virions containing different active levels of RT were generated. Susceptibility to the NNRTIs efavirenz and nevirapine was inversely proportional to the level of enzymatically active RT. However, the sensitivity of HIV-1 to the nucleoside analog 3TC was not affected by the level of RT per particle. These data indicate that the susceptibility of HIV-1 to NNRTIs is influenced by RT activity.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-encoded Tat provides transcriptional activation critical for efficient HIV-1 replication by interacting with cyclin T1 and recruiting P-TEFb to efficiently elongate the nascent HIV transcript. Tat-mediated transcriptional activation in mice is precluded by species-specific structural differences that prevent Tat interaction with mouse cyclin T1 and severely compromise HIV-1 replication in mouse cells. We investigated whether transgenic mice expressing human cyclin T1 under the control of a murine CD4 promoter/enhancer cassette that directs gene expression to CD4+ T lymphocytes and monocytes/macrophages (hu-cycT1 mice) would display Tat responsiveness in their CD4-expressing mouse cells and selectively increase HIV-1 production in this cellular population, which is infected primarily in HIV-1-positive individuals. To this end, we crossed hu-cycT1 mice with JR-CSF transgenic mice carrying the full-length HIV-1JR-CSF provirus under the control of the endogenous HIV-1 long terminal repeat and demonstrated that human cyclin T1 expression is sufficient to support Tat-mediated transactivation in primary mouse CD4 T lymphocytes and monocytes/macrophages and increases in vitro and in vivo HIV-1 production by these stimulated cells. Increased HIV-1 production by CD4+ T lymphocytes was paralleled with their specific depletion in the peripheral blood of the JR-CSF/hu-cycT1 mice, which increased over time. In addition, increased HIV-1 transgene expression due to human cyclin T1 expression was associated with increased lipopolysaccharide-stimulated monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 production by JR-CSF mouse monocytes/macrophages in vitro. Therefore, the JR-CSF/hu-cycT1 mice should provide an improved mouse system for investigating the pathogenesis of various aspects of HIV-1-mediated disease and the efficacies of therapeutic interventions.
Topical antimicrobicides hold great promise in reducing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission. Amphibian skin provides a rich source of broad-spectrum antimicrobial peptides including some that have antiviral activity. We tested 14 peptides derived from diverse amphibian species for the capacity to inhibit HIV infection. Three peptides (caerin 1.1, caerin 1.9, and maculatin 1.1) completely inhibited HIV infection of T cells within minutes of exposure to virus at concentrations that were not toxic to target cells. These peptides also suppressed infection by murine leukemia virus but not by reovirus, a structurally unrelated nonenveloped virus. Preincubation with peptides prevented viral fusion to target cells and disrupted the HIV envelope. Remarkably, these amphibian peptides also were highly effective in inhibiting the transfer of HIV by dendritic cells (DCs) to T cells, even when DCs were transiently exposed to peptides 8 h after virus capture. These data suggest that amphibian-derived peptides can access DC-sequestered HIV and destroy the virus before it can be transferred to T cells. Thus, amphibian-derived antimicrobial peptides show promise as topical inhibitors of mucosal HIV transmission and provide novel tools to understand the complex biology of HIV capture by DCs.
Antiviral resistance is a significant obstacle in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals. Because nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) specifically target HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) and do not effectively inhibit simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) RT, the development of animal models to study the evolution of antiviral resistance has been problematic. To facilitate in vivo studies of NNRTI resistance, we examined whether a SIV that causes immunopathogenesis in pigtail macaques could be made sensitive to NNRTIs. Two simian-human immunodeficiency viruses (SHIVs) were derived from the genetic background of SIVmne: SIV-RT-YY contains RT substitutions intended to confer NNRTI susceptibility (V181Y and L188Y), and RT-SHIVmne contains the entire HIV-1 RT coding region. Both mutant viruses grew to high titers in vitro but had reduced fitness relative to wild-type SIVmne. Although the HIV-1 RT was properly processed into p66 and p51 subunits in RT-SHIVmne particles, the RT-SHIVmne virions had lower levels of RT per viral genomic RNA than HIV-1. Correspondingly, there was decreased RT activity in RT-SHIVmne and SIV-RT-YY particles. HIV-1 and RT-SHIVmne were similarly susceptible to the NNRTIs efavirenz, nevirapine, and UC781. However, SIV-RT-YY was less sensitive to NNRTIs than HIV-1 or RT-SHIVmne. Classical NNRTI resis tance mutations were selected in RT-SHIVmne after in vitro drug treatment and were monitored in a sensitive allele-specific real-time RT-PCR assay. Collectively, these results indicate that RT-SHIVmne may be a useful model in macaques for the preclinical evaluation of NNRTIs and for studies of the development of drug resistance in vivo.
Development of a mouse model for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection has advanced through the progressive identification of host cell factors required for HIV-1 replication. Murine cells lack HIV-1 receptor molecules, do not support efficient viral gene expression, and lack factors necessary for the assembly and release of virions. Many of these blocks have been described using mouse fibroblast cell lines. Here we identify a postentry block to HIV-1 infection in mouse T-cell lines that has not been detected in mouse fibroblasts. While murine fibroblastic lines are comparable to human T-cell lines in permissivity to HIV-1 transduction, infection of murine T cells is 100-fold less efficient. Virus entry occurs efficiently in murine T cells. However, reduced efficiency of the completion of reverse transcription and nuclear transfer of the viral preintegration complex are observed. Although this block has similarities to the restriction of murine retroviruses by Fv1, there is no correlation of HIV-1 susceptibility with cellular Fv1 genotypes. In addition, the block to HIV-1 infection in murine T-cell lines cannot be saturated by a high virus dose. Further studies of this newly identified block may lend insight into the early events of retroviral replication and reveal new targets for antiretroviral interventions.
GM3, a major ganglioside of T lymphocytes, promotes human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) entry via interactions with HIV-1 receptors and the viral envelope glycoprotein (Env). Increased GM3 levels in T lymphocytes and the appearance of anti-GM3 antibodies in AIDS patients have been reported earlier. In this study, we investigated the effect of GM3 regulation on HIV-1 entry by utilizing a mouse cell line (B16F10), which expresses exceptionally high levels of GM3. Strikingly, B16 cells bearing CD4, CXCR4, and/or CCR5 were highly resistant to CD4-dependent HIV-1 Env-mediated membrane fusion. In contrast, these targets supported membrane fusion mediated by CD4-requiring HIV-2, SIV, and CD4-independent HIV-1 Envs. Coreceptor function was not impaired by GM3 overexpression as indicated by Ca2+ fluxes mediated by the CXCR4 ligand SDF-1α and the CCR5 ligand MIP-1β. Reduction in GM3 levels of B16 target cells resulted in a significant recovery of CD4-dependent HIV-1 Env-mediated fusion. We propose that GM3 in the plasma membrane blocks HIV-1 Env-mediated fusion by interfering with the lateral association of HIV-1 receptors. Our findings offer a novel mechanism of interplay between membrane lipids and receptors by which host cells may escape viral infections.
Dendritic cell (DC) transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to CD4+ T cells occurs across a point of cell-cell contact referred to as the infectious synapse. The relationship between the infectious synapse and the classically defined immunological synapse is not currently understood. We have recently demonstrated that human B cells expressing exogenous DC-SIGN, DC-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3 (ICAM-3)-grabbing nonintegrin, efficiently transmit captured HIV type 1 (HIV-1) to CD4+ T cells. K562, another human cell line of hematopoietic origin that has been extensively used in functional analyses of DC-SIGN and related molecules, lacks the principal molecules involved in the formation of immunological synaptic junctions, namely major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules and leukocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1). We thus examined whether K562 erythroleukemic cells could recapitulate efficient DC-SIGN-mediated HIV-1 transmission (DMHT).
Here we demonstrate that DMHT requires cell-cell contact. Despite similar expression of functional DC-SIGN, K562/DC-SIGN cells were inefficient in the transmission of HIV-1 to CD4+ T cells when compared with Raji/DC-SIGN cells. Expression of MHC class II molecules or LFA-1 on K562/DC-SIGN cells was insufficient to rescue HIV-1 transmission efficiency. Strikingly, we observed that co-culture of K562 cells with Raji/DC-SIGN cells impaired DMHT to CD4+ T cells. The K562 cell inhibition of transmission was not directly exerted on the CD4+ T cell targets and required contact between K562 and Raji/DC-SIGN cells.
DMHT is cell type dependent and requires cell-cell contact. We also find that the cellular milieu can negatively regulate DC-SIGN transmission of HIV-1 in trans.