The global reduction of the burden of morbidity and mortality owing to measles has been a major triumph of public health. However, the continued persistence of measles infection probably not only reflects local variation in progress towards vaccination target goals, but may also reflect local variation in dynamic processes of transmission, susceptible replenishment through births and stochastic local extinction. Dynamic models predict that vaccination should increase the mean age of infection and increase inter-annual variability in incidence. Through a comparative approach, we assess national-level patterns in the mean age of infection and measles persistence. We find that while the classic predictions do hold in general, the impact of vaccination on the age distribution of cases and stochastic fadeout are mediated by local birth rate. Thus, broad-scale vaccine coverage goals are unlikely to have the same impact on the interruption of measles transmission in all demographic settings. Indeed, these results suggest that the achievement of further measles reduction or elimination goals is likely to require programmatic and vaccine coverage goals that are tailored to local demographic conditions.
measles; elimination; vaccination; mean age at infection
HIV-1 Vif is an accessory protein that induces the proteasomal degradation of the host restriction factor, apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide-like 3G (APOBEC3G). The N-terminal half of Vif binds to APOBEC3G and the C-terminal half binds to subunits of a cullin-5-based ubiquitin ligase. This Vif-directed ubiquitin ligase induces the degradation of APOBEC3G (a cytidine deaminase), and thereby protects the viral genome from mutation. A conserved PPLP motif near the C terminus of Vif is essential for Vif function and is also involved in Vif oligomerization. However, the mechanism and functional significance of Vif oligomerization is unclear. We employed analytical ultracentrifugation to examine the oligomeric properties of Vif in solution. Contrary to previous reports, we find that Vif oligomerization does not require the conserved PPLP motif. Instead, our data suggest a more complex mechanism involving interactions between the HCCH motif, BC box, and downstream residues in Vif. Mutation of residues near the PPLP motif (S165 and V166) affected the oligomeric properties of Vif and reduced the ability of Vif to bind and induce the degradation of APOBEC3G. We propose that Vif oligomerization may represent a mechanism to regulate interactions with APOBEC3G.
Pomegranate has been shown to prolong PSA doubling time in early prostate cancer, but no data from a placebo controlled trial has been published yet. The objective of this study was to prospectively evaluate the impact of pomegranate juice in patients with prostate cancer.
We conducted a phase IIb, double blinded, randomized placebo controlled trial in patients with histologically confirmed prostate cancer. Only patients with a PSA value ≥ 5ng/ml were included. The subjects consumed 500 ml of pomegranate juice or 500 ml of placebo beverage every day for a 4 week period. Thereafter, all patients received 250 ml of the pomegranate juice daily for another 4 weeks. PSA values were taken at baseline, day 14, 28 and on day 56. The primary endpoint was the detection of a significant difference in PSA serum levels between the groups after one month of treatment. Pain scores and adherence to intervention were recorded using patient diaries.
102 patients were enrolled. The majority of patients had castration resistant prostate cancer (68%). 98 received either pomegranate juice or placebo between October 2008 and May 2011. Adherence to protocol was good, with 94 patients (96%) completing the first period and 87 patients (89%) completing both periods. No grade 3 or higher toxicities occurred within the study. No differences were detected between the two groups with regard to PSA kinetics and pain scores.
Consumption of pomegranate juice as an adjunct intervention in men with advanced prostate cancer does not result in significant PSA declines compared to placebo.
Pomegranate juice; PSA; prostate cancer; nutraceutical; ellagig acids; polyphenols.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Vif is essential for viral evasion of the host antiviral protein APOBEC3G (APO3G). The Vif protein from a distantly related African green monkey (Agm) simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVagm) is unable to suppress the antiviral activity of human APO3G but is active against Agm APO3G. SIVmac Vif on the other hand, possesses antiviral activity against both human and Agm APO3G. In this study, we were interested in mapping domains in SIVmac Vif that are responsible for its dual activity against human and Agm APO3G. We constructed a series of Vif chimeras by swapping domains in SIVmac Vif with equivalent regions from SIVagm Vif and determined their activity against human and Agm APO3G. We found that replacing any region in SIVmac Vif by corresponding fragments from SIVagm Vif only moderately reduced the activity of the chimeras against Agm APO3G but in all cases resulted in a severe loss of activity against human APO3G. These results suggest that the domains in SIVmac Vif required for targeting human and Agm APO3G are distinct and cannot be defined as linear amino acid motifs but rather appear to depend on the overall structure of full-length SIVmac Vif.
Age is an important risk factor for perioperative cerebral complications such as stroke, postoperative cognitive dysfunction, and delirium. We explored the hypothesis that intraoperative cerebrovascular autoregulation is less efficient and brain tissue oxygenation lower in elderly patients, thus, increasing the vulnerability of elderly brains to systemic insults such as hypotension.
We monitored intraoperative cerebral perfusion in 50 patients aged 18–40 and 77 patients >65 yr at two Swiss university hospitals. Mean arterial pressure (MAP) was measured continuously using a plethysmographic method. An index of cerebrovascular autoregulation (Mx) was calculated based on changes in transcranial Doppler flow velocity due to changes in MAP. Cerebral oxygenation was assessed by the tissue oxygenation index (TOI) using near-infrared spectroscopy. End-tidal CO2, O2, and sevoflurane concentrations and peripheral oxygen saturation were recorded continuously. Standardized anaesthesia was administered in all patients (thiopental, sevoflurane, fentanyl, atracurium).
Autoregulation was less efficient in patients aged >65 yr [by 0.10 (se 0.04; P=0.020)] in a multivariable linear regression analysis. This difference was not attributable to differences in MAP, end-tidal CO2, or higher doses of sevoflurane. TOI was not significantly associated with age, sevoflurane dose, or Mx but increased with increasing flow velocity [by 0.09 (se 0.04; P=0.028)] and increasing MAP [by 0.11 (se 0.05; P=0.043)].
Our results do not support the hypothesis that older patients' brains are more vulnerable to systemic insults. The difference of autoregulation between the two groups was small and most likely clinically insignificant.
age groups; anaesthesia; cerebrovascular circulation
Sterile Alpha Motif and HD domain-containing protein 1 (SAMHD1) is a recently identified host factor that restricts HIV-1 replication in dendritic and myeloid cells. SAMHD1 is a dNTPase that presumably reduces the cellular dNTP levels to levels too low for retroviral reverse transcription to occur. However, HIV-2 and SIV encoded Vpx counteracts the antiviral effects of SAMHD1 by targeting the protein for proteasomal degradation. SAMHD1 is encoded by a multiply spliced mRNA and consists of 16 coding exons.
Here, we identified two naturally occurring splice variants lacking exons 8–9 and 14, respectively. Like wildtype SAMHD1, both splice variants localize primarily to the nucleus, interact with Vpx, and retain some sensitivity to Vpx-dependent degradation. However, the splice variants differ from full-length SAMHD1 in their metabolic stability and catalytic activity. While full-length SAMHD1 is metabolically stable in uninfected cells, both splice variants were inherently metabolically unstable and were rapidly degraded even in the absence of Vpx. Vpx strongly increased the rate of degradation of full-length SAMHD1 and further accelerated the degradation of the splice variants. However, the effect of Vpx on the splice variants was more modest due to the inherent instability of these proteins. Analysis of dNTPase activity indicates that neither splice variant is catalytically active.
The identification of SAMHD1 splice variants exposes a potential regulatory mechanism that could enable the cell to control its dNTPase activity on a post-transcriptional level.
Vpx; SAMHD1; Splicing; Gene regulation
Downregulation of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) by HIV-1 Nef protein is indispensable for evasion of protective immunity by HIV-1. Though it has been suggested that the N-terminal region of Nef contributes to the function by associating with a mu-1A subunit of adaptor protein 1, the structural basis of the interaction between Nef and mu-1A remains elusive. We found that a tripartite hydrophobic motif (Trp13/Val16/Met20) in the N terminus of Nef was required for the MHC-I downregulation. Importantly, the motif functioned as a noncanonical mu-1A-binding motif for the interaction with the tyrosine motif-binding site of the mu-1A subunit. Our findings will help understanding of how HIV-1 evades the antiviral immune response by selectively redirecting the cellular protein trafficking system.
Recent progress in reducing global measles mortality has renewed interest in measles eradication. Three biological criteria are deemed important for disease eradication: (1) humans are the sole pathogen reservoir; (2) accurate diagnostic tests exist; and (3) an effective, practical intervention is available at reasonable cost. Interruption of transmission in large geographical areas for prolonged periods further supports the feasibility of eradication. Measles is thought by many experts to meet these criteria: no nonhuman reservoir is known to exist, accurate diagnostic tests are available, and attenuated measles vaccines are effective and immunogenic. Measles has been eliminated in large geographical areas, including the Americas. Measles eradication is biologically feasible. The challenges for measles eradication will be logistical, political, and financial.
BST-2/CD317/HM1.24/tetherin is a B-cell antigen overexpressed on the surface of myeloma cell lines and on neoplastic plasma cells of patients with multiple myeloma. Antibodies to BST-2 are in clinical trial for the treatment of multiple myeloma and are considered for the treatment of solid tumors with high BST-2 antigen levels. Functionally, BST-2 restricts the secretion of retroviruses, including human immunodeficiency virus type 1, as well as members of the herpesvirus, filovirus, and arenavirus families, presumably by tethering nascent virions to the cell surface. Here we report that BST-2 antibody treatment facilitates virus release from BST-2+ cells by interfering with the tethering activity of BST-2. BST-2 antibodies were unable to release already tethered virions and were most effective when added early during virus production. BST-2 antibody treatment did not affect BST-2 dimerization and did not reduce the cell surface expression of BST-2. Interestingly, BST-2 antibody treatment reduced the nonspecific shedding of BST-2 and limited the encapsidation of BST-2 into virions. Finally, flotation analyses indicate that BST-2 antibodies affect the distribution of BST-2 within membrane rafts. Our data suggest that BST-2 antibody treatment may enhance virus release by inducing a redistribution of BST-2 at the cell surface, thus preventing it from accumulating at the sites of virus budding.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Vpu enhances the release of viral particles from infected cells by targeting BST-2/tetherin, a cellular protein inhibiting virus release. The widely used HIV-1NL4-3 Vpu functionally inactivates human BST-2 but not murine or monkey BST-2, leading to the notion that Vpu antagonism is species specific. Here we investigated the properties of the CXCR4-tropic simian-human immunodeficiency virus DH12 (SHIVDH12) and the CCR5-tropic SHIVAD8, each of which carries vpu genes derived from different primary HIV-1 isolates. We found that virion release from infected rhesus peripheral blood mononuclear cells was enhanced to various degrees by the Vpu present in both SHIVs. Transfer of the SHIVDH12 Vpu transmembrane domain to the HIV-1NL4-3 Vpu conferred antagonizing activity against macaque BST-2. Inactivation of the SHIVDH12 and SHIVAD8 vpu genes impaired virus replication in 6 of 8 inoculated rhesus macaques, resulting in lower plasma viral RNA loads, slower losses of CD4+ T cells, and delayed disease progression. The expanded host range of the SHIVDH12 Vpu was not due to adaptation during passage in macaques but was an intrinsic property of the parental HIV-1DH12 Vpu protein. These results demonstrate that the species-specific inhibition of BST-2 by HIV-1NL4-3 Vpu is not characteristic of all HIV-1 Vpu proteins; some HIV-1 isolates encode a Vpu with a broader host range.
Viruses face a variety of obstacles when infecting a new host. The past few years have brought exciting new insights into the function of restriction factors, which form part of the host's innate immune system. One of the most recently identified restriction factors is bone marrow stromal antigen 2 (BST-2)/tetherin. BST-2 is an interferon-inducible gene whose expression dramatically reduces the release of viruses from infected cells. This effect of BST-2 is not specific to human immunodeficiency virus but affects a broad range of enveloped viruses. Since the identification of BST-2 as a restriction factor in 2008, much progress has been made in understanding the molecular properties and functional characteristics of this host factor. The goal of this review was to provide an update on our current understanding of the role of BST-2 in regulating virus release and to discuss its role in controlling virus spread during productive infection with special emphasis on human immunodeficiency virus-1.
Vpu is a small integral membrane protein encoded by HIV-1 and some SIV isolates. The protein is known to induce degradation of the viral receptor molecule CD4 and to enhance the release of newly formed virions from the cell surface. Vpu accomplishes these two functions through two distinct mechanisms. In the case of CD4, Vpu acts as a molecular adaptor to connect CD4 to an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex resulting in CD4 degradation by cellular proteasomes. This requires signals located in Vpu's cytoplasmic domain. Enhancement of virus release on the other hand involves the neutralization of a cellular host factor, BST-2 (also known as CD317, HM1.24, or tetherin) and requires Vpu's TM domain. The current review discusses recent advances on the role of Vpu in controlling degradation of CD4 and in regulating virus release.
The health needs of children and adolescents in humanitarian emergencies are critical to the success of relief efforts and reduction in mortality. Measles has been one of the major causes of child deaths in humanitarian emergencies and further contributes to mortality by exacerbating malnutrition and vitamin A deficiency. Here, we review measles vaccination activities in humanitarian emergencies as documented in published literature. Our main interest was to review the available evidence focusing on the target age range for mass vaccination campaigns either in response to a humanitarian emergency or in response to an outbreak of measles in a humanitarian context to determine whether the current guidance required revision based on recent experience.
We searched the published literature for articles published from January 1, 1998 to January 1, 2010 reporting on measles in emergencies. As definitions and concepts of emergencies vary and have changed over time, we chose to consider any context where an application for either a Consolidated Appeals Process or a Flash Appeal to the UN Central Emergency Revolving Fund (CERF) occurred during the period examined. We included publications from countries irrespective of their progress in measles control as humanitarian emergencies may occur in any of these contexts and as such, guidance applies irrespective of measles control goals.
Of the few well-documented epidemic descriptions in humanitarian emergencies, the age range of cases is not limited to under 5 year olds. Combining all data, both from preventive and outbreak response interventions, about 59% of cases in reports with sufficient data reviewed here remain in children under 5, 18% in 5-15 and 2% above 15 years. In instances where interventions targeted a reduced age range, several reports concluded that the age range should have been extended to 15 years, given that a significant proportion of cases occurred beyond 5 years of age.
Measles outbreaks continue to occur in humanitarian emergencies due to low levels of pre-existing population immunity. According to available published information, cases continue to occur in children over age 5. Preventing cases in older age groups may prevent younger children from becoming infected and reduce mortality in both younger and older age groups.
BST-2/CD317/tetherin is a host factor that inhibits the release of HIV-1 and other unrelated viruses. A current model proposes that BST-2 physically tethers virions to the surface of virus-producing cells. The HIV-1-encoded Vpu protein effectively antagonizes the activity of BST-2. How Vpu accomplishes this task remains unclear; however, it is known that Vpu has the ability to down-modulate BST-2 from the cell surface. Here we analyzed the effects of Vpu on BST-2 by performing a series of kinetic studies with HeLa, 293T, and CEMx174 cells. Our results indicate that the surface downregulation of BST-2 is not due to an accelerated internalization or reduced recycling of internalized BST-2 but instead is caused by interference with the resupply of newly synthesized BST-2 from within the cell. While our data confirm previous reports that the high-level expression of Vpu can cause the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation of BST-2, we found no evidence that Vpu targets endogenous BST-2 in the ER in the course of a viral infection. Instead, we found that Vpu acts in a post-ER compartment and increases the turnover of newly synthesized mature BST-2. Our observation that Vpu does not affect the recycling of BST-2 suggests that Vpu does not act directly at the cell surface but may interfere with the trafficking of newly synthesized BST-2 to the cell surface, resulting in the accelerated targeting of BST-2 to the lysosomal compartment for degradation.
Tetherin, also known as BST-2/CD317/HM1.24, is an antiviral cellular protein that inhibits the release of HIV-1 particles from infected cells. HIV-1 viral protein U (Vpu) is a specific antagonist of human tetherin that might contribute to the high virulence of HIV-1. In this study, we show that three amino acid residues (I34, L37, and L41) in the transmembrane (TM) domain of human tetherin are critical for the interaction with Vpu by using a live cell-based assay. We also found that the conservation of an additional amino acid at position 45 and two residues downstream of position 22, which are absent from monkey tetherins, are required for the antagonism by Vpu. Moreover, computer-assisted structural modeling and mutagenesis studies suggest that an alignment of these four amino acid residues (I34, L37, L41, and T45) on the same helical face in the TM domain is crucial for the Vpu-mediated antagonism of human tetherin. These results contribute to the molecular understanding of human tetherin-specific antagonism by HIV-1 Vpu.
APOBEC3F (A3F) is a member of the family of cytidine deaminases that is often coexpressed with APOBEC3G (A3G) in cells susceptible to HIV infection. A3F has been shown to have strong antiviral activity in transient-expression studies, and together with A3G, it is considered the most potent cytidine deaminase targeting HIV. Previous analyses suggested that the antiviral properties of A3F can be dissociated from its catalytic deaminase activity. We were able to confirm the deaminase-independent antiviral activity of exogenously expressed A3F; however, we also noted that exogenous expression was associated with very high A3F mRNA and protein levels. In analogy to our previous study of A3G, we produced stable HeLa cell lines constitutively expressing wild-type or deaminase-defective A3F at levels that were more in line with the levels of endogenous A3F in H9 cells. A3F expressed in stable HeLa cells was packaged into Vif-deficient viral particles with an efficiency similar to that of A3G and was properly targeted to the viral nucleoprotein complex. Surprisingly, however, neither wild-type nor deaminase-defective A3F inhibited HIV-1 infectivity. These results imply that the antiviral activity of endogenous A3F is negligible compared to that of A3G.
The HIV-1 Vpu protein enhances the release of viral particles from the cell-surface in a cell-type specific manner. In the absence of Vpu, nascent virions remain tethered to the cell-surface in restricted cell-types. Recently, the human host factor BST-2/CD317/tetherin was found to be responsible for the inhibition of virus release. It was also reported that HIV-1 Vpu can target human BST-2 but is unable to interfere with the function of murine or simian BST-2. We performed a gain-of-function study to determine which of the differences between human and rhesus BST-2 account for the differential sensitivity to Vpu. We transferred human BST-2 sequences into rhesus BST-2 and assessed the resulting chimeras for inhibition of HIV-1 virus release and sensitivity to Vpu. We found that rhesus BST-2 carrying the transmembrane (TM) domain of human BST-2 is susceptible to HIV-1 Vpu. Finally, a single-amino-acid change in the rhesus BST-2 TM domain was sufficient to confer Vpu sensitivity.
BST-2; tetherin; Vpu; restriction factor; HIV-1
CD317/Bst-2/tetherin is a host factor that restricts the release of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) by trapping virions at the plasma membrane of certain producer cells. It is antagonized by the HIV-1 accessory protein Vpu. Previous light microscopy studies localized CD317 to the plasma membrane and the endosomal compartment and showed Vpu induced downregulation. In the present study, we performed quantitative immunoelectron microscopy of CD317 in cells producing wild-type or Vpu-defective HIV-1 and in control cells. Double-labeling experiments revealed that CD317 localizes to the plasma membrane, to early and recycling endosomes, and to the trans-Golgi network. CD317 largely relocated to endosomes upon HIV-1 infection, and this effect was partly counteracted by Vpu. Unexpectedly, CD317 was enriched in the membrane of viral buds and cell-associated and cell-free viruses compared to the respective plasma membrane, and this enrichment was independent of Vpu. These results suggest that the tethering activity of CD317 critically depends on its density at the cell surface and appears to be less affected by its density in the virion membrane.
APOBEC3G (A3G) is a host cytidine deaminase that serves as a potent intrinsic inhibitor of retroviral replication. A3G is packaged into human immunodeficiency virus type 1 virions and deaminates deoxycytidine to deoxyuridine on nascent minus-strand retroviral cDNA, leading to hyper-deoxyguanine-to-deoxyadenine mutations on positive-strand cDNA and inhibition of viral replication. The antiviral activity of A3G is suppressed by Vif, a lentiviral accessory protein that prevents encapsidation of A3G. In this study, we identified dominant negative mutants of Vif that interfered with the ability of wild-type Vif to inhibit the encapsidation and antiviral activity of A3G. These mutants were nonfunctional due to mutations in the highly conserved HCCH and/or SOCS box motifs, which are required for assembly of a functional Cul5-E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. Similarly, mutation or deletion of a PPLP motif, which was previously reported to be important for Vif dimerization, induced a dominant negative phenotype. Expression of dominant negative Vif counteracted the Vif-induced reduction of intracellular A3G levels, presumably by preventing Vif-induced A3G degradation. Consequently, dominant negative Vif interfered with wild-type Vif's ability to exclude A3G from viral particles and reduced viral infectivity despite the presence of wild-type Vif. The identification of dominant negative mutants of Vif presents exciting possibilities for the design of novel antiviral strategies.
This paper presents the findings of an exploratory study to investigate the challenges faced by people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in communities in Cape Town, South Africa. The primary goal of the study was to gather data to inform the adaptation of a group risk reduction intervention to the South African context. Qualitative methods were used to examine the experiences of PLWHA. Eight focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with 83 HIV-positive participants and 14 key informants (KIs) involved in work with PLWHA were interviewed. Findings revealed that AIDS-related stigma was still pervasive in local communities. This was associated with the difficulty of disclosure of their status for fear of rejection. Also notable was the role of risky behaviours such as lack of condom use and that PLWHA considered their HIV/AIDS status as secondary to daily life stressors like poverty, unemployment, and gender-based violence. These findings have implications for the adaptation or development of behavioural risk reduction interventions for PLWHA.
Mouse APOBEC3 (mA3) is a cytidine deaminase with antiviral activity. mA3 is linked to the Rfv3 virus resistance factor, a gene responsible for recovery from infection by Friend murine leukemia virus, and mA3 allelic variants differ in their ability to restrict mouse mammary tumor virus. We sequenced mA3 genes from 38 inbred strains and wild mouse species, and compared the mouse sequence and predicted structure with human APOBEC3G (hA3G). An inserted sequence was identified in the virus restrictive C57BL strain allele that disrupts a splice donor site. This insertion represents the long terminal repeat of the xenotropic mouse gammaretrovirus, and was acquired in Eurasian mice that harbor xenotropic retrovirus. This viral regulatory sequence does not alter splicing but is associated with elevated mA3 expression levels in spleens of laboratory and wild-derived mice. Analysis of Mus mA3 coding sequences produced evidence of positive selection and identified 10 codons with very high posterior probabilities of having evolved under positive selection. Six of these codons lie in two clusters in the N-terminal catalytically active cytidine deaminase domain (CDA), and 5 of those 6 codons are polymorphic in Rfv3 virus restrictive and nonrestrictive mice and align with hA3G CDA codons that are critical for deaminase activity. Homology models of mA3 indicate that the two selected codon clusters specify residues that are opposite each other along the predicted CDA active site groove, and that one cluster corresponds to an hAPOBEC substrate recognition loop. Substitutions at these clustered mA3 codons alter antiviral activity. This analysis suggests that mA3 has been under positive selection throughout Mus evolution, and identified an inserted retroviral regulatory sequence associated with enhanced expression in virus resistant mice and specific residues that modulate antiviral activity.
APOBEC3 (mA3) is a cytidine deaminase with antiretroviral activity. Genetic variants of mA3 are associated with the restriction factor Rfv3 (recovery from Friend leukemia virus) and with resistance to mouse mammary tumor virus. We sequenced mA3 from laboratory strains and wild mouse species to examine its evolution. We discovered that the mA3 allele in virus resistant mice is disrupted by insertion of the regulatory sequences of a mouse leukemia virus, and this insertion is associated with enhanced mA3 expression. We also subjected the Mus mA3 protein coding sequences to statistical analysis to determine if specific sites are subject to strong positive selection, that is, show an increased number of amino acid replacement mutations. We identified 10 such sites, most of which distinguish the mA3 genes of Rfv3 virus restrictive and nonrestrictive mice. Six of these sites are in two clusters that, in human APOBEC3G, are important for function. We generated a structural model of mA3, positioned these clusters opposite each other along the putative mA3 active site groove, and demonstrated that substitutions at these sites alter antiviral activity. Thus, mA3 has been involved in genetic conflicts throughout mouse evolution, and we identify an inserted regulatory sequence and two codon clusters that contribute to mA3 antiviral function.
A key function of the Vpu protein of HIV-1 is the targeting of newly-synthesized CD4 for proteasomal degradation. This function has been proposed to occur by a mechanism that is fundamentally distinct from the cellular ER-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway. However, using a combination of genetic, biochemical and morphological methodologies, we find that CD4 degradation induced by Vpu is dependent on a key component of the ERAD machinery, the VCP-UFD1L-NPL4 complex, as well as on SCFβ-TrCP-dependent ubiquitination of the CD4 cytosolic tail on lysine and serine/threonine residues. When degradation of CD4 is blocked by either inactivation of the VCP-UFD1L-NPL4 complex or prevention of CD4 ubiquitination, Vpu still retains the bulk of CD4 in the ER mainly through transmembrane domain interactions. Addition of a strong ER export signal from the VSV-G protein overrides this retention. Thus, Vpu exerts two distinct activities in the process of downregulating CD4: ER retention followed by targeting to late stages of ERAD. The multiple levels at which Vpu engages these cellular quality control mechanisms underscore the importance of ensuring profound suppression of CD4 to the life cycle of HIV-1.
HIV-1 devotes two accessory proteins, Nef and Vpu, to the task of removing the viral receptor, CD4, from the cell surface. Whereas Nef delivers surface CD4 for degradation in lysosomes, Vpu targets newly-made CD4 in the endoplasmic reticulum for degradation by cytosolic proteasomes. This latter process was thought to be fundamentally distinct from that used for the disposal of abnormal cellular proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum. Contrary to this notion, however, we show that Vpu utilizes at least part of the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation machinery to dispose of CD4. Disabling this machinery prevents CD4 degradation induced by Vpu but, surprisingly, does not allow transport of CD4 to the cell surface. This is due to a second function of Vpu: retention of CD4 in the endoplasmic reticulum. These two functions of Vpu are mediated by different parts of the Vpu molecule and involve distinct mechanisms. This functional redundancy underscores the importance of suppressing CD4 expression for HIV-1 to thrive in the infected cells.
The HIV epidemic continues to amplify in southern Africa and there is a growing need for HIV prevention interventions among people who have tested HIV positive.
Anonymous surveys were completed by 413 HIV‐positive men and 641 HIV‐positive women sampled from HIV/AIDS services; 73% were <35 years old, 70% Black African, 70% unemployed, 75% unmarried, and 50% taking antiretroviral treatment.
Among the 903 (85%) participants who were currently sexually active, 378 (42%) had sex with a person to whom they had not disclosed their HIV status in the previous 3 months. Participants who had not disclosed their HIV status to their sex partners were considerably more likely to have multiple partners, HIV‐negative partners, partners of unknown HIV status and unprotected intercourse with non‐concordant sex partners. Not disclosing their HIV status to partners was also associated with having lost a job or a place to stay because of being HIV positive and feeling less able to disclose to partners.
HIV‐related stigma and discrimination are associated with not disclosing HIV status to sex partners, and non‐disclosure is closely associated with HIV transmission risk behaviours. Interventions are needed in South Africa to reduce the AIDS stigma and discrimination and to assist people with HIV to make effective decisions on disclosure.
The cellular cytidine deaminase APOBEC3G (A3G), when incorporated into the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), renders viral particles non-infectious. We previously observed that mutation of a single cysteine residue of A3G (C100S) inhibited A3G packaging. In addition, several recent studies showed that mutation of tryptophan 127 (W127) and tyrosine 124 (Y124) inhibited A3G encapsidation suggesting that the N-terminal CDA constitutes a viral packaging signal in A3G. It was also reported that W127 and Y124 affect A3G oligomerization.
Here we studied the mechanistic basis of the packaging defect of A3G W127A and Y124A mutants. Interestingly, cell fractionation studies revealed a strong correlation between encapsidation, lipid raft association, and genomic RNA binding of A3G. Surprisingly, the presence of a C-terminal epitope tag affected lipid raft association and encapsidation of the A3G W127A mutant but had no effect on wt A3G encapsidation, lipid raft association, and interaction with viral genomic RNA. Mutation of Y124 abolished A3G encapsidation irrespective of the presence or absence of an epitope tag. Contrasting a recent report, our co-immunoprecipitation studies failed to reveal a correlation between A3G oligomerization and A3G encapsidation. In fact, our W127A and Y124A mutants both retained the ability to oligomerize.
Our results confirm that W127 and Y124 residues in A3G are important for encapsidation into HIV-1 virions and our data establish a novel correlation between genomic RNA binding, lipid raft association, and viral packaging of A3G. In contrast, we were unable to confirm a role of W127 and Y124 in A3G oligomerization and we thus failed to confirm a correlation between A3G oligomerization and virus encapsidation.