Interferon-α (IFN-α) is an essential mediator of the antiviral response, which potently inhibits both early and late phases of HIV replication. The SAMHD1 deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) hydrolase represents the prototype of a new antiviral strategy we referred to as “nucleotide depletion”. SAMHD1 depletes dNTP levels in myeloid cells below those required for optimal synthesis of HIV viral DNA. HIV-2 and its SIVsm and SIVmac close relatives encode a protein termed Vpx, which counteracts SAMHD1. The potentiality of IFN-α to cooperate with nucleotide depletion has been poorly investigated so far. Here we wondered whether IFN-α affects SAMHD1 expression, Vpx-induced SAMHD1 degradation, Vpx-mediated rescue of HIV-1 transduction and the dNTP supply in monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs).
IFN-α inhibited HIV-1 transduction in monocytes and in MDMs while SAMHD1 expression was not up-regulated. Vpx triggered SAMHD1 degradation in IFN-α treated cells, and weakly restored HIV-1 transduction from the IFN-α block. Vpx helper effect towards HIV-1 transduction was gradually inhibited with increasing doses of IFN-α. dNTP levels were not significantly affected in MDMs and CD4+ primary activated T lymphocytes by IFN-α and, in correlation with SAMHD1 degradation, restoration of dNTP levels by Vpx was efficient in MDMs treated with the cytokine. In contrast, IFN-α inhibited Vpx-mediated SAMHD1 degradation in THP-1 cells, where, accordingly, Vpx could not rescue HIV-1 transduction.
Our results suggest that the early antiviral effect of IFN-α results from a mechanism independent of nucleotide depletion in MDMs. In addition, they indicate that the macrophage-like THP-1 cell line may provide a system to characterize an IFN-α-induced cell response that inhibits Vpx-mediated SAMHD1 degradation.
SAMHD1; Interferon; Restriction; HIV
The presence of a vpx gene distinguishes HIV-2 from HIV-1, the main causative agent of AIDS. Vpx degrades the restriction factor SAMHD1 to boost HIV-2 infection of macrophages and dendritic cells and it has been suggested that the activation of antiviral innate immune responses after Vpx-dependent infection of myeloid cells may explain why most HIV-2-infected individuals efficiently control viral replication and become long-term survivors. However, the role of Vpx-mediated SAMHD1 antagonism in the virological and clinical outcome of HIV-2 infection remained to be investigated.
Here, we analyzed the anti-SAMHD1 activity of vpx alleles derived from seven viremic and four long-term aviremic HIV-2-infected individuals. We found that effective Vpx-mediated SAMHD1 degradation and enhancement of myeloid cell infection was preserved in most HIV-2-infected individuals including all seven that failed to control the virus and developed AIDS. The only exception were vpx alleles from an aviremic individual that predicted a M68K change in a highly conserved nuclear localization signal which disrupted the ability of Vpx to counteract SAMHD1. We also found that HIV-2 is less effective than HIV-1 in inducing innate immune activation in dendritic cells.
Effective immune control of viral replication in HIV-2-infected individuals is not associated with increased Vpx-mediated degradation of SAMHD1.
AIDS; HIV-2; Vpx; SAMHD1; Viral immune sensing
HIV-1 is inhibited early after entry into cells expressing some simian orthologues of the tripartite motif protein family member TRIM5α. Mutants of the human orthologue (TRIM5αhu) can also provide protection against HIV-1. The host protein cyclophilin A (CypA) binds incoming HIV-1 capsid (CA) proteins and enhances early stages of HIV-1 replication by unknown mechanisms. On the other hand, the CA-CypA interaction is known to increase HIV-1 susceptibility to restriction by TRIM5α. Previously, the mutation V86M in the CypA-binding loop of HIV-1 CA was found to be selected upon serial passaging of HIV-1 in cells expressing Rhesus macaque TRIM5α (TRIM5αrh). The objectives of this study were (i) to analyze whether V86M CA allows HIV-1 to escape mutants of TRIM5αhu, and (ii) to characterize the role of CypA in the resistance to TRIM5α conferred by V86M.
We find that in single-cycle HIV-1 vector transduction experiments, V86M confers partial resistance against R332G-R335G TRIM5αhu and other TRIM5αhu variable 1 region mutants previously isolated in mutagenic screens. However, V86M HIV-1 does not seem to be resistant to R332G-R335G TRIM5αhu in a spreading infection context. Strikingly, restriction of V86M HIV-1 vectors by TRIM5αhu mutants is mostly insensitive to the presence of CypA in infected cells. NMR experiments reveal that V86M alters CypA interactions with, and isomerisation of CA. On the other hand, V86M does not affect the CypA-mediated enhancement of HIV-1 replication in permissive human cells. Finally, qPCR experiments show that V86M increases HIV-1 transport to the nucleus of cells expressing restrictive TRIM5α.
Our study shows that V86M de-couples the two functions associated with CA-CypA binding, i.e. the enhancement of restriction by TRIM5α and the enhancement of HIV-1 replication in permissive human cells. V86M enhances the early stages of HIV-1 replication in restrictive cells by improving nuclear import. In summary, our data suggest that HIV-1 escapes restriction by TRIM5α through the selective disruption of CypA-dependent, TRIM5α-mediated inhibition of nuclear import. However, V86M does not seem to relieve restriction of a spreading HIV-1 infection by TRIM5αhu mutants, underscoring context-specific restriction mechanisms.
Retrovirology would like to thank the following for their assistance with peer review of manuscripts for the journal in 2012.
The majority of HIV-1 subjects worldwide are infected with HIV-1 subtype C (C-HIV). Although C-HIV predominates in developing regions of the world such as Southern Africa and Central Asia, C-HIV is also spreading rapidly in countries with more developed economies and health care systems, whose populations are more likely to have access to wider treatment options, including the CCR5 antagonist maraviroc (MVC). The ability to reliably determine C-HIV coreceptor usage is therefore becoming increasingly more important. In silico V3 sequence based coreceptor usage prediction algorithms are a relatively rapid and cost effective method for determining HIV-1 coreceptor specificity. In this study, we elucidated the V3 sequence determinants of C-HIV coreceptor usage, and used this knowledge to develop and validate a novel, user friendly, and highly sensitive C-HIV specific coreceptor usage prediction algorithm.
We characterized every phenotypically-verified C-HIV gp120 V3 sequence available in the Los Alamos HIV Database. Sequence analyses revealed that compared to R5 C-HIV V3 sequences, CXCR4-using C-HIV V3 sequences have significantly greater amino acid variability, increased net charge, increased amino acid length, increased frequency of insertions and substitutions within the GPGQ crown motif, and reduced frequency of glycosylation sites. Based on these findings, we developed a novel C-HIV specific coreceptor usage prediction algorithm (CoRSeqV3-C), which we show has superior sensitivity for determining CXCR4 usage by C-HIV strains compared to all other available algorithms and prediction rules, including Geno2pheno[coreceptor] and WebPSSMSINSI-C, which has been designed specifically for C-HIV.
CoRSeqV3-C is now openly available for public use at http://www.burnet.edu.au/coreceptor. Our results show that CoRSeqV3-C is the most sensitive V3 sequence based algorithm presently available for predicting CXCR4 usage of C-HIV strains, without compromising specificity. CoRSeqV3-C may be potentially useful for assisting clinicians to decide the best treatment options for patients with C-HIV infection, and will be helpful for basic studies of C-HIV pathogenesis.
HIV-1; subtype C; gp120; V3; CCR5; CXCR4; Coreceptor; Prediction algorithm
Type I interferon (IFN) treatment of some cells, including dendritic cells, macrophages and monocytic THP-1 cells, restricts HIV-1 infection and prevents viral cDNA accumulation. Sterile alpha motif and HD domain protein 1 (SAMHD1), a dGTP-regulated deoxynucleotide triphosphohydrolase, reduces HIV-1 infectivity in myeloid cells, likely by limiting dNTPs available for reverse transcription, and has been described as IFNα-inducible. Myeloid cell infection by HIV-1 is enhanced by HIV-2/SIVSM Vpx, which promotes SAMHD1 degradation, or by exogenous deoxyribonucleoside (dN) addition.
SAMHD1 expression was not substantially influenced by IFNα treatment of monocyte-derived macrophages or THP-1 cells. The contributions of SAMHD1 to the inhibition of HIV-1 infectivity by IFNα were assessed through the provision of Vpx, exogenous dN addition, or via RNAi-mediated SAMHD1 knock-down. Both Vpx and dN efficiently restored infection in IFNα-treated macrophages, albeit not to the levels seen with these treatments in the absence of IFNα. Similarly using differentiated THP-1 cells, the addition of Vpx or dNs, or SAMHD1 knock-down, also stimulated infection, but failing to match the levels observed without IFNα. Neither Vpx addition nor SAMHD1 knock-down reversed the IFNα-induced blocks to HIV-1 infection seen in dividing U87-MG or THP-1 cells. Therefore, altered SAMHD1 expression or function cannot account for the IFNα-induced restriction to HIV-1 infection seen in many cells and cell lines.
IFNα establishes an anti-HIV-1 phenotype in many cell types, and appears to accomplish this without potentiating SAMHD1 function. We conclude that additional IFNα-induced suppressors of the early stages of HIV-1 infection await identification.
HIV-1; Interferon; Restriction; Macrophages; SAMHD1; Vpx; Deoxyribonucleosides
Clinical studies have shown that integrase strand transfer inhibitors can be used to treat HIV-1 infection. Although the first-generation integrase inhibitors are susceptible to the emergence of resistance mutations that impair their efficacy in therapy, such resistance has not been identified to date in drug-naïve patients who have been treated with the second-generation inhibitor dolutegravir. During previous in vitro selection study, we identified a R263K mutation as the most common substitution to arise in the presence of dolutegravir with H51Y arising as a secondary mutation. Additional experiments reported here provide a plausible explanation for the absence of reported dolutegravir resistance among integrase inhibitor-naïve patients to date.
We now show that H51Y in combination with R263K increases resistance to dolutegravir but is accompanied by dramatic decreases in both enzymatic activity and viral replication.
Since H51Y and R263K may define a unique resistance pathway to dolutegravir, our results are consistent with the absence of resistance mutations in antiretroviral drug-naive patients treated with this drug.
HIV integrase; Dolutegravir; Resistance to antiretrovirals; Viral fitness; Strand-transfer assay
Despite intensive investigation the mechanism by which HIV-1 reaches the host cell nucleus is unknown. TNPO3, a karyopherin mediating nuclear entry of SR-proteins, was shown to be required for HIV-1 infectivity. Some investigators have reported that TNPO3 promotes HIV-1 nuclear import, as would be expected for a karyopherin. Yet, an equal number of investigators have failed to obtain evidence that supports this model. Here, a series of experiments were performed to better elucidate the mechanism by which TNPO3 promotes HIV-1 infectivity.
To examine the role of TNPO3 in HIV-1 replication, the 2-LTR circles that are commonly used as a marker for HIV-1 nuclear entry were cloned after infection of TNPO3 knockdown cells. Potential explanation for the discrepancy in the literature concerning the effect of TNPO3 was provided by sequencing hundreds of these clones: a significant fraction resulted from autointegration into sites near the LTRs and therefore were not bona fide 2-LTR circles. In response to this finding, new techniques were developed to monitor HIV-1 cDNA, including qPCR reactions that distinguish 2-LTR circles from autointegrants, as well as massive parallel sequencing of HIV-1 cDNA. With these assays, TNPO3 knockdown was found to reduce the levels of 2-LTR circles. This finding was puzzling, though, since previous work has shown that the HIV-1 determinant for TNPO3-dependence is capsid (CA), an HIV-1 protein that forms a mega-dalton protein lattice in the cytoplasm. TNPO3 imports cellular splicing factors via their SR-domain. Attention was therefore directed towards CPSF6, an SR-protein that binds HIV-1 CA and inhibits HIV-1 nuclear import when the C-terminal SR-domain is deleted. The effect of 27 HIV-1 capsid mutants on sensitivity to TNPO3 knockdown was then found to correlate strongly with sensitivity to inhibition by a C-terminal deletion mutant of CPSF6 (R2 = 0.883, p < 0.0001). TNPO3 knockdown was then shown to cause CPSF6 to accumulate in the cytoplasm. Mislocalization of CPSF6 to the cytoplasm, whether by TNPO3 knockdown, deletion of the CPSF6 nuclear localization signal, or by fusion of CPSF6 to a nuclear export signal, resulted in inhibition of HIV-1 replication. Additionally, targeting CPSF6 to the nucleus by fusion to a heterologous nuclear localization signal rescued HIV-1 from the inhibitory effects of TNPO3 knockdown. Finally, mislocalization of CPSF6 to the cytoplasm was associated with abnormal stabilization of the HIV-1 CA core.
TNPO3 promotes HIV-1 infectivity indirectly, by shifting the CA-binding protein CPSF6 to the nucleus, thus preventing the excessive HIV-1 CA stability that would otherwise result from cytoplasmic accumulation of CPSF6.
HIV-1; TNPO3; CPSF6; Capsid; Nuclear transport
Human T cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection can lead to development of adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) or HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) in a subset of infected subjects. HTLV-1 basic leucine zipper factor (HBZ) gene has a critical role in HTLV-1 infectivity and the development of ATL and HAM/TSP. However, little is known about the immune response against HBZ in HTLV-1-infected individuals. In this study, we examined antibody responses against HBZ in serum/plasma samples from 436 subjects including HTLV-1 seronegative donors, asymptomatic carriers (AC), ATL, and HAM/TSP patients using the luciferase immunoprecipitation system.
Immunoreactivity against HBZ was detected in subsets of all HTLV-1-infected individuals but the test did not discriminate between AC, ATL and HAM/TSP. However, the frequency of detection of HBZ-specific antibodies in the serum of ATL patients with the chronic subtype was higher than in ATL patients with the lymphomatous subtype. Antibody responses against HBZ were also detected in cerebrospinal fluid of HAM/TSP patients with anti-HBZ in serum. Antibody responses against HBZ did not correlate with proviral load and HBZ mRNA expression in HAM/TSP patients, but the presence of an HBZ-specific response was associated with reduced CD4+ T cell activation in HAM/TSP patients. Moreover, HBZ-specific antibody inhibited lymphoproliferation in the PBMC of HAM/TSP patients.
This is the first report demonstrating humoral immune response against HBZ associated with HTLV-I infection. Thus, a humoral immune response against HBZ might play a role in HTLV-1 infection.
HTLV-1; Antibody; HAM/TSP; ATL; Asymptomatic carriers; Serum; CSF
454 sequencing technology is a promising approach for characterizing HIV-1 populations and for identifying low frequency mutations. The utility of 454 technology for determining allele frequencies and linkage associations in HIV infected individuals has not been extensively investigated. We evaluated the performance of 454 sequencing for characterizing HIV populations with defined allele frequencies.
We constructed two HIV-1 RT clones. Clone A was a wild type sequence. Clone B was identical to clone A except it contained 13 introduced drug resistant mutations. The clones were mixed at ratios ranging from 1% to 50% and were amplified by standard PCR conditions and by PCR conditions aimed at reducing PCR-based recombination. The products were sequenced using 454 pyrosequencing. Sequence analysis from standard PCR amplification revealed that 14% of all sequencing reads from a sample with a 50:50 mixture of wild type and mutant DNA were recombinants. The majority of the recombinants were the result of a single crossover event which can happen during PCR when the DNA polymerase terminates synthesis prematurely. The incompletely extended template then competes for primer sites in subsequent rounds of PCR. Although less often, a spectrum of other distinct crossover patterns was also detected. In addition, we observed point mutation errors ranging from 0.01% to 1.0% per base as well as indel (insertion and deletion) errors ranging from 0.02% to nearly 50%. The point errors (single nucleotide substitution errors) were mainly introduced during PCR while indels were the result of pyrosequencing. We then used new PCR conditions designed to reduce PCR-based recombination. Using these new conditions, the frequency of recombination was reduced 27-fold. The new conditions had no effect on point mutation errors. We found that 454 pyrosequencing was capable of identifying minority HIV-1 mutations at frequencies down to 0.1% at some nucleotide positions.
Standard PCR amplification results in a high frequency of PCR-introduced recombination precluding its use for linkage analysis of HIV populations using 454 pyrosequencing. We designed a new PCR protocol that resulted in a much lower recombination frequency and provided a powerful technique for linkage analysis and haplotype determination in HIV-1 populations. Our analyses of 454 sequencing results also demonstrated that at some specific HIV-1 drug resistant sites, mutations can reliably be detected at frequencies down to 0.1%.
454 pyrosequencing; HIV-1; Error rate; PCR induced recombination
Humans are symbiotic organisms; our genome is populated with a substantial number of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), some remarkably intact, while others are remnants of their former selves. Current research indicates that not all ERVs remain silent passengers within our genomes; re-activation of ERVs is often associated with inflammatory diseases. ERVK is the most recently endogenized and transcriptionally active ERV in humans, and as such may potentially contribute to the pathology of inflammatory disease. Here, we showcase the transcriptional regulation of ERVK. Expression of ERVs is regulated in part by epigenetic mechanisms, but also depends on transcriptional regulatory elements present within retroviral long terminal repeats (LTRs). These LTRs are responsive to both viral and cellular transcription factors; and we are just beginning to appreciate the full complexity of transcription factor interaction with the viral promoter. In this review, an exploration into the inflammatory transcription factor sites within the ERVK LTR will highlight the possible mechanisms by which ERVK is induced in inflammatory diseases.
Endogenous retrovirus (ERV); Long terminal repeat (LTR); Transcription factor; Inflammation; Promoter; Interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE); Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB); Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
The encoding of microRNAs in retroviral genomes has remained a controversial hypothesis despite significant supporting evidence in recent years. A recent publication demonstrating the production of functional miRNAs from the retrovirus bovine leukemia virus adds further credence to the fact that retroviruses do indeed encode their own miRNAs. Here we comment on the importance of this paper to the field, as well as examine the other known examples of miRNAs encoded by RNA viruses.
Retrovirus; microRNA; Bovine leukemia virus; Human immunodeficiency virus; West nile virus; Transcriptional gene silencing; RNA polymerase III
HIV-1 infected cells can establish new infections by crossing the vaginal epithelia and subsequently producing virus in a milieu that avoids the high microbicide concentrations of the vaginal lumen.
To address this problem, here, we report that pretreatment of HIV-infected peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with a 27 amino acid CD4-mimetic, M48U1, causes dramatic and prolonged reduction of infectious virus output, due to its induction of gp120 shedding.
M48U1 may, therefore, be valuable for prophylaxis of mucosal HIV-1 transmission.
HIV; Entry; CD4 binding site; gp120; Shedding; Inhibition
Latently infected cells represent the major barrier to either a sterilizing or a functional HIV-1 cure. Multiple approaches to reactivation and depletion of the latent reservoir have been attempted clinically, but full depletion of this compartment remains a long-term goal. Compared to the mechanisms involved in the maintenance of HIV-1 latency and the pathways leading to viral reactivation, less is known about the establishment of latent infection. This review focuses on how HIV-1 latency is established at the cellular and molecular levels. We first discuss how latent infection can be established following infection of an activated CD4 T-cell that undergoes a transition to a resting memory state and also how direct infection of a resting CD4 T-cell can lead to latency. Various animal, primary cell, and cell line models also provide insights into this process and are discussed with respect to the routes of infection that result in latency. A number of molecular mechanisms that are active at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels have been associated with HIV-1 latency. Many, but not all of these, help to drive the establishment of latent infection, and we review the evidence in favor of or against each mechanism specifically with regard to the establishment of latency. We also discuss the role of immediate silent integration of viral DNA versus silencing of initially active infections. Finally, we discuss potential approaches aimed at limiting the establishment of latent infection.
Latency; CD4 T-cell; Reservoir; Establishment; Transcriptional interference; Epigenetics; Chromatin
HIV-1 replication requires integration of its reverse transcribed viral cDNA into a host cell chromosome. The DNA cutting and joining reactions associated to this key step are catalyzed by the viral protein integrase (IN). In infected cells, IN binds the viral cDNA, together with viral and cellular proteins, to form large nucleoprotein complexes. However, the dynamics of IN complexes formation is still poorly understood.
Here, we characterized IN complexes during the early stages of T-lymphocyte infection. We found that following viral entry into the host cell, IN was rapidly targeted to proteasome-mediated degradation. Interactions between IN and cellular cofactors LEDGF/p75 and TNPO3 were detected as early as 6 h post-infection. Size exclusion chromatography of infected cell extracts revealed distinct IN complexes in vivo. While at 2 h post-infection the majority of IN eluted within a high molecular weight complex competent for integration (IN complex I), IN was also detected in a low molecular weight complex devoid of full-length viral cDNA (IN complex II, ~440 KDa). At 6 h post-infection the relative proportion of IN complex II increased. Inhibition of reverse transcription or integration did not alter the elution profile of IN complex II in infected cells. However, in cells depleted for LEDGF/p75 IN complex II shifted to a lower molecular weight complex (IN complex III, ~150 KDa) containing multimers of IN. Notably, cell fractionation experiments indicated that both IN complex II and III were exclusively nuclear. Finally, IN complex II was not detected in cells infected with a virus harboring a mutated IN defective for LEDGF/p75 interaction and tetramerization.
Our findings indicate that, shortly after viral entry, a significant portion of DNA–free IN that is distinct from active pre-integration complexes accumulates in the nucleus.
Human immunodeficiency virus; Integrase; Pre-integration complex; LEDGF/p75
TRIM5α is a member of the tripartite motif family of proteins that restricts retroviral infection in a species-specific manner. The restriction requires an interaction between the viral capsid lattice and the B30.2/SPRY domain of TRIM5α. Previously, we determined that two SUMO interacting motifs (SIMs) present in the B30.2/SPRY domain of human TRIM5α (huTRIM5α) were important for the restriction of N-tropic Murine Leukemia Virus. Here, we examined whether SUMO expression and the SIM1 and SIM2 motifs in rhesus monkey TRIM5α (rhTRIM5α) are similarly important for Human Immunodeficiency Type 1 (HIV-) restriction.
We found that mutation of SIM1 and SIM2 of rhTRIM5α abolished the restriction of HIV-1 virus. Further, knockdown of SUMO-1 in rhTRIM5α expressing cells abolished restriction of HIV-1. These results may be due, in part, to the ability of SUMO-1 to stabilize rhTRIM5α protein expression, as SUMO-1 knockdown increased rhTRIM5α turnover and the mutations in SIM1 and SIM2 led to more rapid degradation than the wild type protein. The NF-κB signaling ability of rhTRIM5α was also attenuated by SUMO-1 knockdown. Finally, upon inhibition of CRM1-dependent nuclear export with Leptomycin B (LMB), wild type rhTRIM5α localized to SUMO-1 bodies in the nucleus, while the SIM1 and SIM2 mutants did not localize to SUMO-1.
Our results suggest that the rhTRIM5α B30.2/SPRY domain is not only important for the recognition of the HIV-1 CA, but it is also important for its association with SUMO-1 or SUMO-1 modified proteins. These interactions help to maintain TRIM5α protein levels and its nuclear localization into specific nuclear bodies.
SUMO-1; SIM; rhTRIM5α; HIV-1
Mucosally transmissible and pathogenic CCR5 (R5)-tropic simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) molecular clones are useful reagents to identity neutralization escape in HIV-1 vaccine experiments and to study the envelope evolutionary process and mechanistic basis for coreceptor switch during the course of natural infection.
We observed progression to AIDS in rhesus macaques infected intrarectally with molecular clones of the pathogenic R5 SHIVSF162P3N isolate. Expansion to CXCR4 usage was documented in one diseased macaque that mounted a neutralizing antibody response and in another that failed to do so, with the latter displaying a rapid progressor phenotype. V3 loop envelop glycoprotein gp120 sequence changes that are predictive of a CXCR4 (X4)-using phenotype in HIV-1 subtype B primary isolates, specifically basic amino acid substations at positions 11 (S11R), 24 (G24R) and 25 (D25K) of the loop were detected in the two infected macaques. Functional assays showed that envelopes with V3 S11R or D25K mutation were dual-tropic, infecting CD4+ target cells that expressed either the CCR5 or CXCR4 coreceptor. And, consistent with findings of coreceptor switching in macaques infected with the pathogenic isolate, CXCR4-using variant was first detected in the lymph node of the chronically infected rhesus monkey several weeks prior to its presence in peripheral blood. Moreover, X4 emergence in this macaque coincided with persistent peripheral CD4+ T cell loss and a decline in neutralizing antibody titer that are suggestive of immune deterioration, with macrophages as the major virus-producing cells at the end-stage of disease.
The data showed that molecular clones derived from the R5 SHIVSF162P3N isolate are mucosally transmissible and induced disease in a manner similar to that observed in HIV-1 infected individuals, providing a relevant and useful animal infection model for in-depth analyses of host selection pressures and the env evolutionary changes that influence disease outcome, coreceptor switching and vaccine escape.
R5 SHIV molecular clone; Coreceptor switch; Antiviral antibody response; Macrophage infection
Understanding HIV-1 subtype distribution and epidemiology can assist preventive measures and clinical decisions. Sequence variation may affect antiviral drug resistance development, disease progression, evolutionary rates and transmission routes.
We investigated the subtype distribution of HIV-1 in Europe and Israel in a representative sample of patients diagnosed between 2002 and 2005 and related it to the demographic data available. 2793 PRO-RT sequences were subtyped either with the REGA Subtyping tool or by a manual procedure that included phylogenetic tree and recombination analysis. The most prevalent subtypes/CRFs in our dataset were subtype B (66.1%), followed by sub-subtype A1 (6.9%), subtype C (6.8%) and CRF02_AG (4.7%). Substantial differences in the proportion of new diagnoses with distinct subtypes were found between European countries: the lowest proportion of subtype B was found in Israel (27.9%) and Portugal (39.2%), while the highest was observed in Poland (96.2%) and Slovenia (93.6%). Other subtypes were significantly more diagnosed in immigrant populations. Subtype B was significantly more diagnosed in men than in women and in MSM > IDUs > heterosexuals. Furthermore, the subtype distribution according to continent of origin of the patients suggests they acquired their infection there or in Europe from compatriots.
The association of subtype with demographic parameters suggests highly compartmentalized epidemics, determined by social and behavioural characteristics of the patients.
Dendritic cells and their subsets, located at mucosal surfaces, are among the first immune cells to encounter disseminating pathogens. The cellular restriction factor BST-2/tetherin (also known as CD317 or HM1.24) potently restricts HIV-1 release by retaining viral particles at the cell surface in many cell types, including primary cells such as macrophages. However, BST-2/tetherin does not efficiently restrict HIV-1 infection in immature dendritic cells.
We now report that BST-2/tetherin expression in myeloid (myDC) and monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DC) can be significantly up-regulated by IFN-α treatment and TLR-4 engagement with LPS. In contrast to HeLa or 293T cells, infectious HIV-1 release in immature DC and IFN-α–matured DC was only modestly affected in the absence of Vpu compared to wild-type viruses. Strikingly, immunofluorescence analysis revealed that BST-2/tetherin was excluded from HIV containing tetraspanin-enriched microdomains (TEMs) in both immature DC and IFN-α–matured DC. In contrast, in LPS-mediated mature DC, BST-2/tetherin exerted a significant restriction in transfer of HIV-1 infection to CD4+ T cells. Additionally, LPS, but not IFN-α stimulation of immature DC, leads to a dramatic redistribution of cellular restriction factors to the TEM as well as at the virological synapse between DC and CD4+ T cells.
In conclusion, we demonstrate that TLR-4 engagement in immature DC significantly up-regulates the intrinsic antiviral activity of BST-2/tetherin, during cis-infection of CD4+ T cells across the DC/T cell virological synapse. Manipulating the function and potency of cellular restriction factors such as BST-2/tetherin to HIV-1 infection, has implications in the design of antiviral therapeutic strategies.
Human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1); Bone marrow stromal cell antigen-2 (BST-2)/tetherin; Dendritic cells; Lipopolysaccharide (LPS); Interferon-alpha (IFN-α)
The late Nobel Laureate Sir Peter Medawar once memorably described viruses as ‘bad news wrapped in protein’. Virus assembly in HIV is a remarkably well coordinated process in which the virus achieves extracellular budding using primarily intracellular budding machinery and also the unusual phenomenon of export from the cell of an RNA. Recruitment of the ESCRT system by HIV is one of the best documented examples of the comprehensive way in which a virus hijacks a normal cellular process. This review is a summary of our current understanding of the budding process of HIV, from genomic RNA capture through budding and on to viral maturation, but centering on the proteins of the ESCRT pathway and highlighting some recent advances in our understanding of the cellular components involved and the complex interplay between the Gag protein and the genomic RNA.
HIV; Budding; Assembly; ESCRT; ALIX; NEDD
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) undergoes a protease-mediated maturation process that is required for its infectivity. Little is known about how the physical properties of viral particles change during maturation and how these changes affect the viral lifecycle. Using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), we previously discovered that HIV undergoes a “stiffness switch”, a dramatic reduction in particle stiffness during maturation that is mediated by the viral Envelope (Env) protein.
In this study, we show that transmembrane-anchored Env cytoplasmic tail (CT) domain is sufficient to regulate the particle stiffness of immature HIV-1. Using this construct expressed in trans with viral Env lacking the CT domain, we show that increasing particle stiffness reduces viral entry activity in immature virions. A similar effect was also observed for immature HIV-1 pseudovirions containing Env from vesicular stomatitis virus.
This linkage between particle stiffness and viral entry activity illustrates a novel level of regulation for viral replication, providing the first evidence for a biological role of virion physical properties and suggesting a new inhibitory strategy.
HIV; Viral entry; Atomic force microscopy; Maturation; Stiffness
Breastfeeding is a leading cause of infant HIV-1 infection in the developing world, yet only a minority of infants exposed to HIV-1 via breastfeeding become infected. As a genetic bottleneck severely restricts the number of postnatally-transmitted variants, genetic or phenotypic properties of the virus Envelope (Env) could be important for the establishment of infant infection. We examined the efficiency of virologic functions required for initiation of infection in the gastrointestinal tract and the neutralization sensitivity of HIV-1 Env variants isolated from milk of three postnatally-transmitting mothers (n=13 viruses), five clinically-matched nontransmitting mothers (n=16 viruses), and seven postnatally-infected infants (n = 7 postnatally-transmitted/founder (T/F) viruses).
There was no difference in the efficiency of epithelial cell interactions between Env virus variants from the breast milk of transmitting and nontransmitting mothers. Moreover, there was similar efficiency of DC-mediated trans-infection, CCR5-usage, target cell fusion, and infectivity between HIV-1 Env-pseudoviruses from nontransmitting mothers and postnatal T/F viruses. Milk Env-pseudoviruses were generally sensitive to neutralization by autologous maternal plasma and resistant to breast milk neutralization. Infant T/F Env-pseudoviruses were equally sensitive to neutralization by broadly-neutralizing monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies as compared to nontransmitted breast milk Env variants.
Postnatally-T/F Env variants do not appear to possess a superior ability to interact with and cross a mucosal barrier or an exceptional resistance to neutralization that define their capability to initiate infection across the infant gastrointestinal tract in the setting of preexisting maternal antibodies.
HIV; Mother to child transmission; Galcer; Dendritic cells; Neutralizing antibodies
Slit2 is a ~ 200 kDa secreted glycoprotein that has been recently shown to regulate immune functions. However, not much is known about its role in HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)-1 pathogenesis.
In the present study, we have shown that the N-terminal fragment of Slit2 (Slit2N) (~120 kDa) inhibits replication of both CXCR4 and CCR5-tropic HIV-1 viruses in T-cell lines and peripheral blood T-cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated inhibition of HIV-1 infection in resting CD4+ T-cells. In addition, we showed that Slit2N blocks cell-to-cell transmission of HIV-1. We have shown that Slit2N inhibits HIV-1 infection by blocking viral entry into T-cells. We also ruled out Slit2N-mediated inhibition of various other steps in the life cycle including binding, integration and viral transcription. Elucidation of the molecular mechanism revealed that Slit2N mediates its functional effects by binding to Robo1 receptor. Furthermore, we found that Slit2N inhibited Gp120-induced Robo1-actin association suggesting that Slit2N may inhibit cytoskeletal rearrangements facilitating HIV-1 entry. Studies into the mechanism of inhibition of HIV-1 revealed that Slit2N abrogated HIV-1 envelope-induced actin cytoskeletal dynamics in both T-cell lines and primary T-cells. We further showed that Slit2N specifically attenuated the HIV-1 envelope-induced signaling pathway consisting of Rac1, LIMK and cofilin that regulates actin polymerization.
Taken together, our results show that Slit2N inhibits HIV-1 replication through novel mechanisms involving modulation of cytoskeletal dynamics. Our study, thus, provides insights into the role of Slit2N in HIV-1 infection and underscores its potential in limiting viral replication in T-cells.
Impaired HIV-1 Gag, Pol, and Env function has been described in elite controllers (EC) who spontaneously suppress plasma viremia to < 50 RNA copies/mL; however, activity of the accessory protein Nef remains incompletely characterized. We examined the ability of 91 Nef clones, isolated from plasma of 45 EC and 46 chronic progressors (CP), to down-regulate HLA class I and CD4, up-regulate HLA class II invariant chain (CD74), enhance viral infectivity, and stimulate viral replication in PBMC.
In general, EC Nef clones were functional; however, all five activities were significantly lower in EC compared to CP. Nef clones from HLA-B*57-expressing EC exhibited poorer CD4 down-regulation function compared to those from non-B*57 EC, and the number of EC-specific B*57-associated Nef polymorphisms correlated inversely with 4 of 5 Nef functions in these individuals.
Results indicate that decreased HIV-1 Nef function, due in part to host immune selection pressures, may be a hallmark of the EC phenotype.
HIV-1; Nef; Elite controllers; Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) class I; Immune escape; Replication capacity; HLA-B*57
Human T-cell Leukemia Virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infects 20 million individuals world-wide and causes Adult T-cell Leukemia/Lymphoma (ATLL), a highly aggressive T-cell cancer. ATLL is refractory to treatment with conventional chemotherapy and fewer than 10% of afflicted individuals survive more than 5 years after diagnosis. HTLV-1 encodes a viral oncoprotein, Tax, that functions in transforming virus-infected T-cells into leukemic cells. All ATLL cases are believed to have reduced p53 activity although only a minority of ATLLs have genetic mutations in their p53 gene. It has been suggested that p53 function is inactivated by the Tax protein.
Using genetically altered mice, we report here that Tax expression does not achieve a functional equivalence of p53 inactivation as that seen with genetic mutation of p53 (i.e. a p53−/− genotype). Thus, we find statistically significant differences in tumorigenesis between Tax+p53+/+versus Tax+p53−/− mice. We also find a role contributed by the cellular Wip1 phosphatase protein in tumor formation in Tax transgenic mice. Notably, Tax+Wip1−/− mice show statistically significant reduced prevalence of tumorigenesis compared to Tax+Wip1+/+ counterparts.
Our findings provide new insights into contributions by p53 and Wip1 in the in vivo oncogenesis of Tax-induced tumors in mice.