Molecular cloning and analysis of functional envelope genes from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 sequence subtypes A through G. The WHO and NIAID Networks for HIV Isolation and Characterization.
ABSTRACT: Present knowledge of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope immunobiology has been derived almost exclusively from analyses of subtype B viruses, yet such viruses represent only a minority of strains currently spreading worldwide. To generate a more representative panel of genetically diverse envelope genes, we PCR amplified, cloned, and sequenced complete gp160 coding regions of 35 primary (peripheral blood mononuclear cell-propagated) HIV-1 isolates collected at major epicenters of the current AIDS pandemic. Analysis of their deduced amino acid sequences revealed several important differences from prototypic subtype B strains, including changes in the number and distribution of cysteine residues, substantial length differences in hypervariable regions, and premature truncations in the gp41 domain. Moreover, transiently expressed glycoprotein precursor molecules varied considerably in both size and carbohydrate content. Phylogenetic analyses of full-length env sequences indicated that the panel included members of all major sequence subtypes of HIV-1 group M (clades A to G), as well as an intersubtype recombinant (F/B) from an infected individual in Brazil. In addition, all subtype E and three subtype G viruses initially classified on the basis of partial env sequences were found to cluster in subtype A in the 3' half of their gp41 coding region, suggesting that they are also recombinant. The biological activity of PCR-derived env genes was examined in a single-round virus infectivity assay. This analysis identified 20 clones, including 1 from each subtype (or recombinant), which expressed fully functional envelope glycoproteins. One of these, derived from a patient with rapid CD4 cell decline, contained an amino acid substitution in a highly conserved endocytosis signal (Y721C), as mediated virus entry with very poor efficiency, although they did not contain sequence changes predicted to alter protein function. These results indicate that the env genes of primary HIV-1 isolates collected worldwide can vary considerably in their genetic, phylogenetic, and biological properties. The panel of env constructs described here should prove valuable for future structure-function studies of naturally occurring envelope glycoproteins as well as AIDS vaccine development efforts targeted against a broader spectrum of viruses.
Project description:The motifs involved in the various functions of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gp41 cytoplasmic tail (CT), particularly those related to the intracellular trafficking and assembly of envelope glycoproteins (Env) onto core particles, have generally been assessed with a restricted panel of T-cell laboratory-adapted virus strains. Here, we investigated gp41 CT sequences derived from individuals infected with HIV-1 viruses of various subtypes. We identified four patients harboring HIV variants with a natural polymorphism in the membrane-proximal tyrosine-based signal Y(712)SPL or the Y(802)W(803) diaromatic motif, which are two major determinants of Env intracellular trafficking. Confocal microscopy showed that the intracellular distribution of Env with a mutation in the tyrosine or diaromatic motif differed from that of Env with no mutation in these motifs. Surprisingly, the gp41 CTs of the primary viruses also had differential effects on the intracellular distribution of Env, independently of mutations in the tyrosine or diaromatic motifs, suggesting the involvement of additional determinants. Furthermore, analyses of virus replication kinetics indicated that the effects of mutations in the tyrosine or diaromatic motifs on viral replication depended on the gp41 CT context. These effects were at least partly due to differences in the efficiency of Env incorporation into virions. Thus, polymorphisms in primary HIV-1 gp41 CTs at the quasispecies or subtype level can influence the intracellular distribution of Env, its incorporation into virions, and viral replication capacity.
Project description:The gp120 region of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope (env) gene exhibits a high level of genetic heterogeneity across the group M subtypes. The heteroduplex mobility assay (HMA) has successfully been used to assign subtype classifications, but C2V5 primers often fail to amplify African strains. We developed an env gp41-based HMA for which the target sequence is amplified with highly conserved gp41 primers, known to efficiently amplify nucleic acids from HIV-1 group M, N, and O viruses. By using gp41 from a new panel of reference strains, the subtype assignments made by our modified HMA were concordant with those obtained by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of 34 field strains from 10 countries representing subtypes A to G. Testing of field strains from Nigeria further demonstrated the utility of this modified assay. Of 28 samples, all could be amplified with gp41 primers but only 17 (60.7%) could be amplified with the standard C2V5 primers. Therefore, gp41-based HMA can be a useful tool for the rapid monitoring of prevalent subtypes in countries with divergent strains of circulating HIV-1.
Project description:The HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) is present on the surface of the virion at a very low density compared to most other enveloped viruses. Substitution of various parts of the stalk domain of Env (gp41) with the corresponding elements from other viral glycoproteins has been shown to increase Env spike density on the cell membrane and surface of virus-like particles (VLPs). In this study, chimeric Env antigens were generated by replacing the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains of HIV-1 Env with the corresponding regions from the influenza H5 hemagglutinin (HA) (gp140HA2tr) and by replacing the entire gp41 region of Env with the HA2 subunit of HA (gp120HA2). Recombinant DNA and modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vaccines expressing HIV-1 subtype C mosaic Gag and gp150 Env or either of the chimeras were generated. Surprisingly, no significant differences were found in the levels of expression of gp150 Env or either of the chimeras on the surface of cells or on Gag VLPs. Differences were, however, observed in the binding of different monoclonal antibodies to the HIV-1 Env. Monoclonal antibodies, which recognized a V1 / V2 quaternary epitope at the tip of the native Env trimer, bound gp150 and gp140HA2tr chimera but failed to bind to the gp120HA2 chimera. Autologous Tier 2 neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) were produced by rabbits inoculated with DNA and MVA vaccines expressing the gp140HA2tr chimera or gp150 Env, but not those immunized with the gp120HA2 Env. These results showed that the addition of an HA2 stalk to HIV-1 gp120 did not improve immunogenicity, but rather that the full-length gp150 was required for optimal presentation of epitopes for the elicitation of a neutralizing antibody response to HIV-1.
Project description:The host proteins, SERINC3 and SERINC5, have been recently shown to incorporate into HIV-1 particles and compromise their ability to fuse with target cells, an effect that is antagonized by the viral Nef protein. Envelope (Env) glycoproteins from different HIV-1 isolates exhibit a broad range of sensitivity to SERINC-mediated restriction, and the mechanism by which SERINCs interfere with HIV-1 fusion remains unclear. Here, we show that incorporation of SERINC5 into virions in the absence of Nef inhibits the formation of small fusion pores between viruses and cells. Strikingly, we found that SERINC5 promotes spontaneous functional inactivation of sensitive but not resistant Env glycoproteins. Although SERINC5-Env interaction was not detected by co-immunoprecipitation, incorporation of this protein enhanced the exposure of the conserved gp41 domains and sensitized the virus to neutralizing antibodies and gp41-derived inhibitory peptides. These results imply that SERINC5 restricts HIV-1 fusion at a step prior to small pore formation by selectively inactivating sensitive Env glycoproteins, likely through altering their conformation. The increased HIV-1 sensitivity to anti-gp41 antibodies and peptides suggests that SER5 also delays refolding of the remaining fusion-competent Env trimers.
Project description:Standardized assessments of HIV-1 vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibody responses are complicated by the genetic and antigenic variability of the viral envelope glycoproteins (Envs). To address these issues, suitable reference strains are needed that are representative of the global epidemic. Several panels have been recommended previously, but no clear answers have been available on how many and which strains are best suited for this purpose. We used a statistical model selection method to identify a global panel of reference Env clones from among 219 Env-pseudotyped viruses assayed in TZM-bl cells with sera from 205 HIV-1-infected individuals. The Envs and sera were sampled globally from diverse geographic locations and represented all major genetic subtypes and circulating recombinant forms of the virus. Assays with a panel size of only nine viruses adequately represented the spectrum of HIV-1 serum neutralizing activity seen with the larger panel of 219 viruses. An optimal panel of nine viruses was selected and augmented with three additional viruses for greater genetic and antigenic coverage. The spectrum of HIV-1 serum neutralizing activity seen with the final 12-virus panel closely approximated the activity seen with subtype-matched viruses. Moreover, the final panel was highly sensitive for detection of many of the known broadly neutralizing antibodies. For broader assay applications, all 12 Env clones were converted to infectious molecular clones using a proviral backbone carrying a Renilla luciferase reporter gene (Env.IMC.LucR viruses). This global panel should facilitate highly standardized assessments of vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibodies across multiple HIV-1 vaccine platforms in different parts of the world.An effective HIV-1 vaccine will need to overcome the extraordinary genetic variability of the virus, where most variation occurs in the viral envelope glycoproteins that are the sole targets for neutralizing antibodies. Efforts to elicit broadly cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies that will protect against infection by most circulating strains of the virus are guided in part by in vitro assays that determine the ability of vaccine-elicited antibodies to neutralize genetically diverse HIV-1 variants. Until now, little information was available on how many and which strains of the virus are best suited for this purpose. We applied robust statistical methods to evaluate a large neutralization data set and identified a small panel of viruses that are a good representation of the global epidemic. The neutralization properties of this new panel of reference strains should facilitate the development of an effective HIV-1 vaccine.
Project description:Binding to the receptor CD4 triggers entry-related conformational changes in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein (Env) trimer, (gp120/gp41)3 Soluble versions of HIV-1 Env trimers (sgp140 SOSIP.664) stabilized by a gp120-gp41 disulfide bond and a change (I559P) in gp41 have been structurally characterized. Here, we use cross-linking/mass spectrometry to evaluate the conformations of functional membrane Env and sgp140 SOSIP.664. Differences were detected in the gp120 trimer association domain and C terminus and in the gp41 heptad repeat 1 (HR1) region. Whereas the membrane Env trimer exposes the gp41 HR1 coiled coil only after CD4 binding, the sgp140 SOSIP.664 HR1 coiled coil was accessible to the gp41 HR2 peptide even in the absence of CD4. Our results delineate differences in both gp120 and gp41 subunits between functional membrane Env and the sgp140 SOSIP.664 trimer and provide distance constraints that can assist validation of candidate structural models of the native HIV-1 Env trimer.IMPORTANCE HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein spikes mediate the entry of the virus into host cells and are a major target for vaccine-induced antibodies. Soluble forms of the envelope glycoproteins that are stable and easily produced have been characterized extensively and are being considered as vaccines. Here, we present evidence that these stabilized soluble envelope glycoproteins differ in multiple respects from the natural HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins. By pinpointing these differences, our results can guide the improvement of envelope glycoprotein preparations to achieve greater similarity to the viral envelope glycoprotein spike, potentially increasing their effectiveness as a vaccine.
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) entry into cells is mediated by the viral envelope glycoprotein (Env) trimer, which consists of three gp120 exterior glycoproteins and three gp41 transmembrane glycoproteins. When gp120 binds sequentially to the receptors CD4 and CCR5 on the target cell, the metastable Env trimer is triggered to undergo entry-related conformational changes. PF-68742 is a small molecule that inhibits the infection of a subset of HIV-1 strains by interfering with an Env function other than receptor binding. Determinants of HIV-1 resistance to PF-68742 map to the disulfide loop and fusion peptide of gp41. Of the four possible PF-68742 stereoisomers, only one, MF275, inhibited the infection of CD4-positive CCR5-positive cells by some HIV-1 strains. MF275 inhibition of these HIV-1 strains occurred after CD4 binding but before the formation of the gp41 six-helix bundle. Unexpectedly, MF275 activated the infection of CD4-negative CCR5-positive cells by several HIV-1 strains resistant to the inhibitory effects of the compound in CD4-positive target cells. In contrast to CD4 complementation by CD4-mimetic compounds, activation of CD4-independent infection by MF275 did not depend upon the availability of the gp120 Phe 43 cavity. Sensitivity to inhibitors indicates that MF275-activated virus entry requires formation/exposure of the gp41 heptad repeat (HR1) as well as CCR5 binding. MF275 apparently activates a virus entry pathway parallel to that triggered by CD4 and CD4-mimetic compounds. Strain-dependent divergence in Env conformational transitions allows different outcomes, inhibition or activation, in response to MF275. Understanding the mechanisms of MF275 activity should assist efforts to optimize its utility.IMPORTANCE Envelope glycoprotein (Env) spikes on the surface of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) bind target cell receptors, triggering changes in the shape of Env. We studied a small molecule, MF275, that also induced shape changes in Env. The consequences of MF275 interaction with Env depended on the HIV-1 strain, with infection by some viruses inhibited and infection by other viruses enhanced. These studies reveal the strain-dependent diversity of HIV-1 Envs as they undergo shape changes in proceeding down the entry pathway. Appreciation of this diversity will assist attempts to develop broadly active inhibitors of HIV-1 entry.
Project description:Entry of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) into cells is mediated by the virion surface envelope (Env) glycoproteins, making it a desirable target for antiretroviral entry inhibitors. We previously isolated a family of gp120 binding RNA aptamers and showed that they neutralized the infectivity of HIV-1. In this study, we assessed the activity of a shortened synthetic derivative of the B40 aptamer, called UCLA1, against a large panel of HIV-1 subtype C viruses. UCLA1 tightly bound to a consensus HIV-1 subtype C gp120 and neutralized isolates of the same subtype with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC(50)s) in the nanomolar range. The aptamer had little toxicity in tests with cell lines and primary cells. Furthermore, it exhibited high therapeutic indices, suggesting that it may be effective at very low doses. Mapping of UCLA1 binding sites on gp120 revealed eight amino acid residues that modulated neutralization resistance. This included residues within the coreceptor binding site, at the base of the V3 loop, and in the bridging sheet within the conserved V1/V2 stem-loop of gp120. The aptamer was also shown to have synergistic effects with T20, a gp41 fusion inhibitor, and IgG1b12 (b12), an anti-CD4 binding site monoclonal antibody. These results suggest that UCLA1 may be suitable for development as a potent HIV-1 entry inhibitor.
Project description:Little is known about the neutralization properties of HIV-1 in India to optimally design and test vaccines. For this reason, a functional Env clone was obtained from each of ten newly acquired, heterosexually transmitted HIV-1 infections in Pune, Maharashtra. These clones formed a phylogenetically distinct genetic lineage within subtype C. As Env-pseudotyped viruses the clones were mostly resistant to IgG1b12, 2G12 and 2F5 but all were sensitive to 4E10. When compared to a large multi-subtype panel of Env-pseudotyped viruses (subtypes B, C and CRF02_AG) in neutralization assays with a multi-subtype panel of HIV-1-positive plasma samples, the Indian Envs were remarkably complex. With the exception of the Indian Envs, results of a hierarchical clustering analysis showed a strong subtype association with the patterns of neutralization susceptibility. From these patterns we were able to identify 19 neutralization cluster-associated amino acid signatures in gp120 and 14 signatures in the ectodomain and cytoplasmic tail of gp41. We conclude that newly transmitted Indian Envs are antigenically complex in spite of close genetic similarity. Delineation of neutralization-associated amino acid signatures provides a deeper understanding of the antigenic structure of HIV-1 Env.
Project description:Intersubtype recombination is a powerful driving force for HIV evolution, impacting both HIV-1 diversity within an infected individual and within the global epidemic. This study examines if viral protein function/fitness is the major constraint shaping selection of recombination hotspots in replication-competent HIV-1 progeny. A better understanding of the interplay between viral protein structure-function and recombination may provide insights into both vaccine design and drug development.In vitro HIV-1 dual infections were used to recombine subtypes A and D isolates and examine breakpoints in the Env glycoproteins. The entire env genes of 21 A/D recombinants with breakpoints in gp120 were non-functional when cloned into the laboratory strain, NL4-3. Likewise, cloning of A/D gp120 coding regions also produced dead viruses with non-functional Envs. 4/9 replication-competent viruses with functional Env's were obtained when just the V1-V5 regions of these same A/D recombinants (i.e. same A/D breakpoints as above) were cloned into NL4-3.These findings on functional A/D Env recombinants combined with structural models of Env suggest a conserved interplay between the C1 domain with C5 domain of gp120 and extracellular domain of gp41. Models also reveal a co-evolution within C1, C5, and ecto-gp41 domains which might explain the paucity of intersubtype recombination in the gp120 V1-V5 regions, despite their hypervariability. At least HIV-1 A/D intersubtype recombination in gp120 may result in a C1 from one subtype incompatible with a C5/gp41 from another subtype.