Increased CCR5 affinity and reduced CCR5/CD4 dependence of a neurovirulent primary human immunodeficiency virus type 1 isolate.
ABSTRACT: Most human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) viruses in the brain use CCR5 as the principal coreceptor for entry into a cell. However, additional phenotypic characteristics are necessary for HIV-1 neurotropism. Furthermore, neurotropic strains are not necessarily neurovirulent. To better understand the determinants of HIV-1 neurovirulence, we isolated viruses from brain tissue samples from three AIDS patients with dementia and HIV-1 encephalitis and analyzed their ability to induce syncytia in monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) and neuronal apoptosis in primary brain cultures. Two R5X4 viruses (MACS1-br and MACS1-spln) were highly fusogenic in MDM and induced neuronal apoptosis. The R5 viruses UK1-br and MACS2-br are both neurotropic. However, only UK1-br induced high levels of fusion in MDM and neuronal apoptosis. Full-length Env clones from UK1-br required lower CCR5 and CD4 levels than Env clones from MACS2-br to function efficiently in cell-to-cell fusion and single-round infection assays. UK1-br Envs also had a greater affinity for CCR5 than MACS2-br Envs in binding assays. Relatively high levels of UK1-br and MACS2-br Envs bound to CCR5 in the absence of soluble CD4. However, these Envs could not mediate CD4-independent infection, and MACS2-br Envs were unable to mediate fusion or infection in cells expressing low levels of CD4. The UK1-br virus was more resistant than MACS2-br to inhibition by the CCR5-targeted inhibitors TAK-779 and Sch-C. UK1-br was more sensitive than MACS2-br to neutralization by monoclonal antibodies (2F5 and immunoglobulin G1b12 [IgG1b12]) and CD4-IgG2. These results predict the presence of HIV-1 variants with increased CCR5 affinity and reduced dependence on CCR5 and CD4 in the brains of some AIDS patients with central nervous system disease and suggest that R5 variants with increased CCR5 affinity may represent a pathogenic viral phenotype contributing to the neurodegenerative manifestations of AIDS.
Project description:BR-derived HIV-1 strains have an exceptional ability to enter macrophages via mechanisms involving their gp120 Env that remain incompletely understood. Here, we used cell-based affinity-profiling methods and mathematical modeling to generate quantitative VERSA metrics that simultaneously measure Env-CD4 and Env-CCR5 interactions. These metrics were analyzed to distinguish the phenotypes of M-tropic and non-M-tropic CCR5-using HIV-1 variants derived from autopsy BRs and LNs, respectively. We show that highly M-tropic Env variants derived from brain can be defined by two distinct and simultaneously occurring phenotypes. First, BR-derived Envs demonstrated an enhanced ability to interact with CD4 compared with LN-derived Envs, permitting entry into cells expressing scant levels of CD4. Second, BR-derived Envs displayed an altered mechanism of engagement between CD4-bound gp120 and CCR5 occurring in tandem. With the use of epitope mapping, mutagenesis, and structural studies, we show that this altered mechanism is characterized by increased exposure of CD4-induced epitopes in gp120 and by a more critical interaction between BR-derived Envs and the CCR5 N-terminus, which was associated with the predicted presence of additional atomic contacts formed at the gp120-CCR5 N-terminus interface. Our results suggest that BR-derived HIV-1 variants with highly efficient macrophage entry adopt conformations in gp120 that simultaneously alter the way in which the Env interacts with CD4 and CCR5.
Project description:Most human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) strains isolated from the brain use CCR5 for entry into macrophages and microglia. Strains that use both CCR5 and CXCR4 for entry (R5X4 strains) have been identified in the brains of some individuals, but mechanisms underlying the persistence of R5X4 viruses compartmentalized between the brain and other tissue reservoirs are unknown. Here, we characterized changes in the HIV-1 envelope (Env) that enhance the tropism of R5X4 variants for brain or lymphoid tissue. R5X4 Envs derived from the brains of two individuals had enhanced CCR5 usage in fusion assays compared to R5X4 Envs derived from matched spleen or blood, which was associated with reduced dependence on specific residues in the CCR5 N terminus and extracellular loop 1 (ECL1) and ECL3 regions. In contrast, spleen/blood-derived Envs had enhanced CXCR4 usage compared to brain-derived Envs, which was associated with reduced dependence on residues in the CXCR4 N terminus and ECL2 region. Consequently, brain-derived Envs had preferential CCR5 usage for HIV-1 entry into the JC53 cell line, could use either CCR5 or CXCR4 for entry into monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM), and could use CCR5 (albeit inefficiently) for entry into peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), whereas the entry of spleen-derived Envs was CXCR4 dependent in all three cell types. Mutagenesis studies of Env amino acid variants influencing coreceptor usage showed that S306 in the gp120 V3 region of brain-derived Envs reduces dependence on the CCR5 N terminus and enhances CCR5 usage for HIV-1 entry into PBMC and MDM, whereas R306 in spleen-derived Envs reduces dependence on the CXCR4 N terminus and confers the CXCR4 restricted phenotype. These results identify mechanisms underlying R5X4 HIV-1 persistence in different tissue reservoirs. Tissue-specific changes in the gp120 V3 region that increase the efficiency of CCR5 or CXCR4 usage, and thereby influence coreceptor preference, may enhance the tropism of R5X4 strains for CCR5-expressing macrophage lineage cells in the brain and CXCR4-expressing T cells in lymphoid tissues, respectively.
Project description:Macrophage tropism of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is distinct from coreceptor specificity of the viral envelope glycoproteins (Env), but the virus-cell interactions that contribute to efficient HIV-1 entry into macrophages, particularly via CXCR4, are not well understood. Here, we characterized a panel of HIV-1 Envs that use CCR5 (n = 14) or CXCR4 (n = 6) to enter monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) with various degrees of efficiency. Our results show that efficient CCR5-mediated MDM entry by Env-pseudotyped reporter viruses is associated with increased tolerance of several mutations within the CCR5 N terminus. In contrast, efficient CXCR4-mediated MDM entry was associated with reduced tolerance of a large deletion within the CXCR4 N terminus. Env sequence analysis and structural modeling identified amino acid variants at positions 261 and 263 within the gp41-interactive region of gp120 and a variant at position 326 within the gp120 V3 loop that were associated with efficient CXCR4-mediated MDM entry. Mutagenesis studies showed that the gp41 interaction domain variants exert a significant but strain-specific influence on CXCR4-mediated MDM entry, suggesting that the structural integrity of the gp120-gp41 interface is important for efficient CXCR4-mediated MDM entry of certain HIV-1 strains. However, the presence of Ile326 in the gp120 V3 loop stem, which we show by molecular modeling is located at the gp120-coreceptor interface and predicted to interact with the CXCR4 N terminus, was found to be critical for efficient CXCR4-mediated MDM entry of divergent CXCR4-using Envs. Together, the results of our study provide novel insights into alternative mechanisms of Env-coreceptor engagement that are associated with efficient CCR5- and CXCR4-mediated HIV-1 entry into macrophages.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The efficiency of CD4/CCR5 mediated HIV-1 entry has important implications for pathogenesis and transmission. The HIV-1 receptor affinity profiling (Affinofile) system analyzes and quantifies the infectivity of HIV-1 envelopes (Envs) across a spectrum of CD4/CCR5 expression levels and distills these data into a set of Affinofile metrics. The Affinofile system has shed light on how differential CD4/CCR5 usage efficiencies contributes to an array of Env phenotypes associated with cellular tropism, viral pathogenesis, and CCR5 inhibitor resistance. To facilitate more rapid, convenient, and robust analysis of HIV-1 entry phenotypes, we engineered a reporter Affinofile system containing a Tat- and Rev-dependent Gaussia luciferase-eGFP-Reporter (GGR) that is compatible with the use of pseudotyped or replication competent viruses with or without a virally encoded reporter gene. This GGR Affinofile system enabled a higher throughput characterization of CD4/CCR5 usage efficiencies associated with differential Env phenotypes.<h4>Results</h4>We first validated our GGR Affinofile system on isogenic JR-CSF Env mutants that differ in their affinity for CD4 and/or CCR5. We established that their GGR Affinofile metrics reflected their differential entry phenotypes on primary PBMCs and CD4+ T-cell subsets. We then applied GGR Affinofile profiling to reveal distinct entry phenotypes associated with transmission, subtype specificity, and resistance to broadly neutralizing antibodies (BNAbs). First, we profiled a panel of reference subtype B transmitted/founder (T/F) and chronic Envs (n?=?12) by analyzing the infectivity of each Env across 25 distinct combinations of CD4/CCR5 expression levels. Affinofile metrics revealed that at low CCR5 levels, our panel of subtype B T/F Envs was more dependent on high levels of CD4 for HIV-1 entry compared to chronic Envs. Next, we analyzed a reference panel of 28 acute/early subtype A-D Envs, and noted that subtype C Envs could be distinguished from the other subtypes based on their infectivity profiles and relevant Affinofile metrics. Lastly, mutations known to confer resistance to VRC01 or PG6/PG19 BNAbs, when engineered into subtypes A-D Envs, resulted in significantly decreased CD4/CCR5 usage efficiency.<h4>Conclusions</h4>GGR Affinofile profiling reveals pathophysiological phenotypes associated with varying HIV-1 entry efficiencies, and highlight the fitness costs associated with resistance to some broadly neutralizing antibodies.
Project description:Sexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) most often results from productive infection by a single transmitted/founder (T/F) virus, indicating a stringent mucosal bottleneck. Understanding the viral traits that overcome this bottleneck could have important implications for HIV-1 vaccine design and other prevention strategies. Most T/F viruses use CCR5 to infect target cells and some encode envelope glycoproteins (Envs) that contain fewer potential N-linked glycosylation sites and shorter V1/V2 variable loops than Envs from chronic viruses. Moreover, it has been reported that the gp120 subunits of certain transmitted Envs bind to the gut-homing integrin α4β7, possibly enhancing virus entry and cell-to-cell spread. Here we sought to determine whether subtype C T/F viruses, which are responsible for the majority of new HIV-1 infections worldwide, share biological properties that increase their transmission fitness, including preferential α4β7 engagement. Using single genome amplification, we generated panels of both T/F (n = 20) and chronic (n = 20) Env constructs as well as full-length T/F (n = 6) and chronic (n = 4) infectious molecular clones (IMCs). We found that T/F and chronic control Envs were indistinguishable in the efficiency with which they used CD4 and CCR5. Both groups of Envs also exhibited the same CD4+ T cell subset tropism and showed similar sensitivity to neutralization by CD4 binding site (CD4bs) antibodies. Finally, saturating concentrations of anti-α4β7 antibodies failed to inhibit infection and replication of T/F as well as chronic control viruses, although the growth of the tissue culture-adapted strain SF162 was modestly impaired. These results indicate that the population bottleneck associated with mucosal HIV-1 acquisition is not due to the selection of T/F viruses that use α4β7, CD4 or CCR5 more efficiently.
Project description:Entry of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and HIV-2 requires interactions between the envelope glycoprotein (Env) on the virus and CD4 and a chemokine receptor, either CCR5 or CXCR4, on the cell surface. The V3 loop of the HIV gp120 glycoprotein plays a critical role in this process, determining tropism for CCR5- or CXCR4-expressing cells, but details of how V3 interacts with these receptors have not been defined. Using an iterative process of deletion mutagenesis and in vitro adaptation of infectious viruses, variants of HIV-2 were derived that could replicate without V3, either with or without a deletion of the V1/V2 variable loops. The generation of these functional but markedly minimized Envs required adaptive changes on the gp120 core and gp41 transmembrane glycoprotein. V3-deleted Envs exhibited tropism for both CCR5- and CXCR4-expressing cells, suggesting that domains on the gp120 core were mediating interactions with determinants shared by both coreceptors. Remarkably, HIV-2 Envs with V3 deletions became resistant to small-molecule inhibitors of CCR5 and CXCR4, suggesting that these drugs inhibit wild-type viruses by disrupting a specific V3 interaction with the coreceptor. This study represents a proof of concept that HIV Envs lacking V3 alone or in combination with V1/V2 that retain functional domains required for viral entry can be derived. Such minimized Envs may be useful in understanding Env function, screening for new inhibitors of gp120 core interactions with chemokine receptors, and designing novel immunogens for vaccines.
Project description:Infection by HIV-1 most often results from the successful transmission and propagation of a single virus variant, termed the transmitted/founder (T/F) virus. Here, we compared the attachment and entry properties of envelope (Env) glycoproteins from T/F and chronic control (CC) viruses. Using a panel of 40 T/F and 47 CC Envs, all derived by single genome amplification, we found that 52% of clade C and B CC Envs exhibited partial resistance to the CCR5 antagonist maraviroc (MVC) on cells expressing high levels of CCR5, while only 15% of T/F Envs exhibited this same property. Moreover, subtle differences in the magnitude with which MVC inhibited infection on cells expressing low levels of CCR5, including primary CD4(+) T cells, were highly predictive of MVC resistance when CCR5 expression levels were high. These results are consistent with previous observations showing a greater sensitivity of T/F Envs to MVC inhibition on cells expressing very high levels of CCR5 and indicate that CC Envs are often capable of recognizing MVC-bound CCR5, albeit inefficiently on cells expressing physiologic levels of CCR5. When CCR5 expression levels are high, this phenotype becomes readily detectable. The utilization of drug-bound CCR5 conformations by many CC Envs was seen with other CCR5 antagonists, with replication-competent viruses, and did not obviously correlate with other phenotypic traits. The striking ability of clade C and B CC Envs to use MVC-bound CCR5 relative to T/F Envs argues that the more promiscuous use of CCR5 by these Env proteins is selected against at the level of virus transmission and is selected for during chronic infection.
Project description:The viral determinants that underlie human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) neurotropism are unknown, due in part to limited studies on viruses isolated from brain. Previous studies suggest that brain-derived viruses are macrophage tropic (M-tropic) and principally use CCR5 for virus entry. To better understand HIV-1 neurotropism, we isolated primary viruses from autopsy brain, cerebral spinal fluid, blood, spleen, and lymph node samples from AIDS patients with dementia and HIV-1 encephalitis. Isolates were characterized to determine coreceptor usage and replication capacity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM), and microglia. Env V1/V2 and V3 heteroduplex tracking assay and sequence analyses were performed to characterize distinct variants in viral quasispecies. Viruses isolated from brain, which consisted of variants that were distinct from those in lymphoid tissues, used CCR5 (R5), CXCR4 (X4), or both coreceptors (R5X4). Minor usage of CCR2b, CCR3, CCR8, and Apj was also observed. Primary brain and lymphoid isolates that replicated to high levels in MDM showed a similar capacity to replicate in microglia. Six of 11 R5 isolates that replicated efficiently in PBMC could not replicate in MDM or microglia due to a block in virus entry. CD4 overexpression in microglia transduced with retroviral vectors had no effect on the restricted replication of these virus strains. Furthermore, infection of transfected cells expressing different amounts of CD4 or CCR5 with M-tropic and non-M-tropic R5 isolates revealed a similar dependence on CD4 and CCR5 levels for entry, suggesting that the entry block was not due to low levels of either receptor. Studies using TAK-779 and AMD3100 showed that two highly M-tropic isolates entered microglia primarily via CXCR4. These results suggest that HIV-1 tropism for macrophages and microglia is restricted at the entry level by a mechanism independent of coreceptor specificity. These findings provide evidence that M-tropism rather than CCR5 usage predicts HIV-1 neurotropism.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Dual/mixed-tropic HIV-1 strains are predominant in a significant proportion of patients, though little information is available regarding their replication-capacity and susceptibility against CCR5-antagonists in-vitro. The aim of the study was to analyze the replication-capacity and susceptibility to maraviroc of HIV-1 clinical isolates with different tropism characteristics in primary monocyte-derived-macrophages (MDM), peripheral-blood-mononuclear-cells (PBMC), and CD4(+) T-lymphocytes.<h4>Methods</h4>Twenty-three HIV-1 isolates were phenotipically and genotipically characterized as R5, X4 or dual (discriminated as R5(+)/X4, R5/X4, R5/X4(+)). Phenotypic-tropism was evaluated by multiple-cycles-assay on U87MG-CD4(+)-CCR5(+)-/CXCR4(+)-expressing cells. Genotypic-tropism prediction was obtained using Geno2Pheno-algorithm (false-positive-rate [FPR]?=?10%). Replication-capacity and susceptibility to maraviroc were investigated in human-primary MDM, PBMC and CD4(+) T-cells. AMD3100 was used as CXCR4-inhibitor. Infectivity of R5/Dual/X4-viruses in presence/absence of maraviroc was assessed also by total HIV-DNA, quantified by real-time polymerase-chain-reaction.<h4>Results</h4>Among 23 HIV-1 clinical isolates, phenotypic-tropism-assay distinguished 4, 17 and 2 viruses with R5-tropic, dual/mixed-, and X4-tropic characteristics, respectively. Overall, viruses defined as R5(+)/X4-tropic were found with the highest prevalence (10/23, 43.5%). The majority of isolates efficiently replicated in both PBMC and CD4(+) T-cells, regardless of their tropism, while MDM mainly sustained replication of R5- or R5(+)/X4-tropic isolates; strong correlation between viral-replication and genotypic-FPR-values was observed in MDM (rho?=?0.710;p-value?=?1.4e-4). In all primary cells, maraviroc inhibited viral-replication of isolates not only with pure R5- but also with dual/mixed tropism (mainly R5(+)/X4 and, to a lesser extent R5/X4 and R5/X4(+)). Finally, no main differences by comparing the total HIV-DNA with the p24-production in presence/absence of maraviroc were found.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Maraviroc is effective in-vitro against viruses with dual-characteristics in both MDM and lymphocytes, despite the potential X4-mediated escape. This suggests that the concept of HIV-entry through one of the two coreceptors "separately" may require revision, and that the use of CCR5-antagonists in patients with dual/mixed-tropic viruses may be a therapeutic-option that deserves further investigations in different clinical settings.
Project description:CCR5-restricted (R5) human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) variants cause CD4+ T-cell loss in the majority of individuals who progress to AIDS, but mechanisms underlying the pathogenicity of R5 strains are poorly understood. To better understand envelope glycoprotein (Env) determinants contributing to pathogenicity of R5 viruses, we characterized 37 full-length R5 Envs from cross-sectional and longitudinal R5 viruses isolated from blood of patients with asymptomatic infection or AIDS, referred to as pre-AIDS (PA) and AIDS (A) R5 Envs, respectively.Compared to PA-R5 Envs, A-R5 Envs had enhanced fusogenicity in quantitative cell-cell fusion assays, and reduced sensitivity to inhibition by the fusion inhibitor T-20. Sequence analysis identified the presence of Asn 362 (N362), a potential N-linked glycosylation site immediately N-terminal to CD4-binding site (CD4bs) residues in the C3 region of gp120, more frequently in A-R5 Envs than PA-R5 Envs. N362 was associated with enhanced fusogenicity, faster entry kinetics, and increased sensitivity of Env-pseudotyped reporter viruses to neutralization by the CD4bs-directed Env mAb IgG1b12. Mutagenesis studies showed N362 contributes to enhanced fusogenicity of most A-R5 Envs. Molecular models indicate N362 is located adjacent to the CD4 binding loop of gp120, and suggest N362 may enhance fusogenicity by promoting greater exposure of the CD4bs and/or stabilizing the CD4-bound Env structure.Enhanced fusogenicity is a phenotype of the A-R5 Envs studied, which was associated with the presence of N362, enhanced HIV-1 entry kinetics and increased CD4bs exposure in gp120. N362 contributes to fusogenicity of R5 Envs in a strain dependent manner. Our studies suggest enhanced fusogenicity of A-R5 Envs may contribute to CD4+ T-cell loss in subjects who progress to AIDS whilst harbouring R5 HIV-1 variants. N362 may contribute to this effect in some individuals.