Species-specific activity of SIV Nef and HIV-1 Vpu in overcoming restriction by tetherin/BST2.
ABSTRACT: Tetherin, also known as BST2, CD317 or HM1.24, was recently identified as an interferon-inducible host-cell factor that interferes with the detachment of virus particles from infected cells. HIV-1 overcomes this restriction by expressing an accessory protein, Vpu, which counteracts tetherin. Since lentiviruses of the SIV(smm/mac)/HIV-2 lineage do not have a vpu gene, this activity has likely been assumed by other viral gene products. We found that deletion of the SIV(mac)239 nef gene significantly impaired virus release in cells expressing rhesus macaque tetherin. Virus release could be restored by expressing Nef in trans. However, Nef was unable to facilitate virus release in the presence of human tetherin. Conversely, Vpu enhanced virus release in the presence of human tetherin, but not in the presence of rhesus tetherin. In accordance with the species-specificity of Nef in mediating virus release, SIV Nef downregulated cell-surface expression of rhesus tetherin, but did not downregulate human tetherin. The specificity of SIV Nef for rhesus tetherin mapped to four amino acids in the cytoplasmic domain of the molecule that are missing from human tetherin, whereas the specificity of Vpu for human tetherin mapped to amino acid differences in the transmembrane domain. Nef alleles of SIV(smm), HIV-2 and HIV-1 were also able to rescue virus release in the presence of both rhesus macaque and sooty mangabey tetherin, but were generally ineffective against human tetherin. Thus, the ability of Nef to antagonize tetherin from these Old World primates appears to be conserved among the primate lentiviruses. These results identify Nef as the viral gene product of SIV that opposes restriction by tetherin in rhesus macaques and sooty mangabeys, and reveal species-specificity in the activities of both Nef and Vpu in overcoming tetherin in their respective hosts.
Project description:Tetherin is an IFN-inducible restriction factor that inhibits HIV-1 particle release in the absence of the HIV-1 countermeasure, viral protein U (Vpu). Although ubiquitous in HIV-1 and simian immunodeficiency viruses from chimpanzees, greater spot nosed monkeys, mustached monkeys, and Mona monkeys, other primate lentiviruses do not encode a Vpu protein. Here we demonstrate that SIV from Tantalus monkeys (SIVtan) encodes an envelope glycoprotein (SIVtan Env) able to counteract tetherin from Tantalus monkeys, rhesus monkeys, sooty mangabeys, and humans, but not from pigs. We show that sensitivity to Vpu but not SIVtan Env can be transferred with the human tetherin transmembrane region. We also identify a mutation in the tetherin extracellular domain, which almost completely abolishes sensitivity of human tetherin to SIVtan Env without compromising antiviral activity or sensitivity to Vpu. SIVtan Env expression results in a reduction of surface tetherin, as well as reduction in tetherin co-localization with mature surface-associated virus. Immuno-electron microscopy reveals co-localization of SIVtan Env with tetherin in intracellular tubulo-vesicular structures, suggesting that tetherin is sequestered away from budding virions at the cell surface. Along with HIV-1 Vpu and SIV Nef, envelope glycoprotein is the third and most broadly active lentiviral-encoded tetherin countermeasure to be described. Our observations emphasize the importance of tetherin in protecting mammals against viral infection and suggest that HIV-1 Vpu inhibitors may select active envelope mutants.
Project description:The tetherin/BST2/CD317 protein blocks the release of HIV-1 and other enveloped viruses by inducing tethering of nascent particles to infected cell surfaces. The HIV-1 Vpu protein antagonizes the antiviral activity of human but not monkey tetherins and many simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs) do not encode Vpu. Here, we show that the apparently "missing" antitetherin activity in SIVs has been acquired by several SIV Nef proteins. Specifically, SIV(MAC)/SIV(SMM), SIV(AGM), and SIV(BLU) Nef proteins can suppress tetherin activity. Notably, tetherin antagonism by SIV Nef proteins is species specific, is genetically separable from other Nef activities, and is most evident with simian rather than human tetherin proteins. Accordingly, a critical determinant of sensitivity to SIV(MAC) Nef in the tetherin cytoplasmic tail is variable in nonhuman primate tetherins and deleted in human tetherin, likely due to selective pressures imposed by viral antagonists, perhaps including Nef proteins.
Project description:Tetherin (BST-2 or CD317) is an interferon-inducible transmembrane protein that inhibits virus release from infected cells. Whereas HIV-1 Vpu and HIV-2 Env counteract human tetherin, most SIVs use Nef to antagonize the tetherin proteins of their nonhuman primate hosts. Here, we show that compensatory changes in the cytoplasmic domain of SIV gp41, acquired by a nef-deleted virus that regained a pathogenic phenotype in infected rhesus macaques, restore resistance to tetherin. These changes facilitate virus release in the presence of rhesus tetherin, but not human tetherin, and enhance virus replication in interferon-treated primary lymphocytes. The substitutions in gp41 result in a selective physical association with rhesus tetherin, and the internalization and sequestration of rhesus tetherin by a mechanism that depends on a conserved endocytosis motif in gp41. These results are consistent with HIV-2 Env antagonism of human tetherin and suggest that the ability to oppose tetherin is important for lentiviral pathogenesis.
Project description:Nef is the viral gene product employed by the majority of primate lentiviruses to overcome restriction by tetherin (BST-2 or CD317), an interferon-inducible transmembrane protein that inhibits the detachment of enveloped viruses from infected cells. Although the mechanisms of tetherin antagonism by HIV-1 Vpu and HIV-2 Env have been investigated in detail, comparatively little is known about tetherin antagonism by SIV Nef. Here we demonstrate a direct physical interaction between SIV Nef and rhesus macaque tetherin, define the residues in Nef required for tetherin antagonism, and show that the anti-tetherin activity of Nef is dependent on clathrin-mediated endocytosis. SIV Nef co-immunoprecipitated with rhesus macaque tetherin and the Nef core domain bound directly to a peptide corresponding to the cytoplasmic domain of rhesus tetherin by surface plasmon resonance. An analysis of alanine-scanning substitutions identified residues throughout the N-terminal, globular core and flexible loop regions of Nef that were required for tetherin antagonism. Although there was significant overlap with sequences required for CD4 downregulation, tetherin antagonism was genetically separable from this activity, as well as from other Nef functions, including MHC class I-downregulation and infectivity enhancement. Consistent with a role for clathrin and dynamin 2 in the endocytosis of tetherin, dominant-negative mutants of AP180 and dynamin 2 impaired the ability of Nef to downmodulate tetherin and to counteract restriction. Taken together, these results reveal that the mechanism of tetherin antagonism by Nef depends on a physical interaction between Nef and tetherin, requires sequences throughout Nef, but is genetically separable from other Nef functions, and leads to the removal of tetherin from sites of virus release at the plasma membrane by clathrin-mediated endocytosis.
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Nef downregulates HLA-A and -B molecules, but not HLA-C or -E molecules, based on amino acid differences in their cytoplasmic domains to simultaneously evade cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) and natural killer cell surveillance. Rhesus macaques and sooty mangabeys express orthologues of HLA-A, -B, and -E, but not HLA-C, and many of these molecules have unique amino acid differences in their cytoplasmic tails. We found that these differences also resulted in differential downregulation by primary simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) SIV(smm/mac) and HIV-2 Nef alleles. Thus, selective major histocompatibility complex class I downregulation is a conserved mechanism of immune evasion for pathogenic SIV infection of rhesus macaques and nonpathogenic SIV infection of sooty mangabeys.
Project description:The interferon-induced host restriction factor tetherin poses a barrier for SIV transmission from primates to humans. After cross-species transmission, the chimpanzee precursor of pandemic HIV-1 switched from the accessory protein Nef to Vpu to effectively counteract human tetherin. As we report here, the experimental reintroduction of HIV-1 into its original chimpanzee host resulted in a virus that can use both Vpu and Nef to antagonize chimpanzee tetherin. Functional analyses demonstrated that alterations in and near the highly conserved ExxxLL motif in the C-terminal loop of Nef were critical for the reacquisition of antitetherin activity. Strikingly, just two amino acid changes allowed HIV-1 Nef to counteract chimpanzee tetherin and promote virus release. Our data demonstrate that primate lentiviruses can reacquire lost accessory gene functions during a single in vivo passage and suggest that other functional constraints keep Nef ready to regain antitetherin activity.
Project description:In different primate lentiviruses, three proteins (Vpu, Env and Nef) have been shown to have anti-tetherin activities. SIVden is a primate lentivirus harbored by a Cercopithecus denti (C. denti) whose genome code for a Vpu gene. We have compared the activity of HIV-1 Vpu and of SIVden Vpu on tetherin proteins from humans, from C. denti and from Cercopithecus neglectus (C. neglectus), a monkey species that is naturally infected by SIVdeb, a virus closely related to SIVden but which does not encode a Vpu protein. Here, we demonstrate that SIVden Vpu, is active against C. denti tetherin, but not against human tetherin. Interestingly, C. neglectus tetherin was more sensitive to SIVden Vpu than to HIV-1 Vpu. We also identify residues in the tetherin transmembrane domains that are responsible for the species-specific Vpu effect. Simultaneous mutation (P40L and T45I) of human tetherin conferred sensitivity to SIVden Vpu, while abolishing its sensitivity to HIV-1 Vpu. We next analyzed the anti-tetherin activity of the Nef proteins from HIV-1, SIVden and SIVdeb. All three Nef proteins were unable to rescue virus release in the presence of human or C. denti tetherin. Conversely, SIVdeb Nef enhanced virus release in the presence of C. neglectus tetherin, suggesting that SIVdeb relies on Nef in its natural host. Finally, while HIV-1 Vpu not only removed human tetherin from the cell surface but also directed it for degradation, SIVden Vpu only induced the redistribution of both C. denti and C. neglectus tetherins, resulting in a predominantly perinuclear localization.
Project description:Although Nef is the viral gene product used by most simian immunodeficiency viruses to overcome restriction by tetherin, this activity was acquired by the Vpu protein of HIV-1 group M due to the absence of sequences in human tetherin that confer susceptibility to Nef. Thus, it is widely accepted that HIV-1 group M uses Vpu instead of Nef to counteract tetherin. Challenging this paradigm, we identified Nef alleles of HIV-1 group M isolates with significant activity against human tetherin. These Nef proteins promoted virus release and tetherin downmodulation from the cell surface and, in the context of vpu-deleted HIV-1 recombinants, enhanced virus replication and resistance to antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). Further analysis revealed that the Vpu proteins from several of these viruses lack antitetherin activity, suggesting that under certain circumstances, HIV-1 group M Nef may acquire the ability to counteract tetherin to compensate for the loss of this function by Vpu. These observations illustrate the remarkable plasticity of HIV-1 in overcoming restriction by tetherin and challenge the prevailing view that all HIV-1 group M isolates use Vpu to counteract tetherin. IMPORTANCE Most viruses of HIV-1 group M, the main group of HIV-1 responsible for the global AIDS pandemic, use their Vpu proteins to overcome restriction by tetherin (BST-2 or CD317), which is a transmembrane protein that inhibits virus release from infected cells. Here we show that the Nef proteins of certain HIV-1 group M isolates can acquire the ability to counteract tetherin. These results challenge the current paradigm that HIV-1 group M exclusively uses Vpu to counteract tetherin and underscore the importance of tetherin antagonism for efficient viral replication.
Project description:Bone Marrow Stromal Cell Antigen 2 (BST-2)/tetherin inhibits the release of numerous enveloped viruses by physically tethering nascent particles to infected cells during the process of viral budding from the cell surface. Tetherin also restricts human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and pandemic main (M) group HIV type 1s (HIV-1s) are thought to rely exclusively on their Vpu proteins to overcome tetherin-mediated restriction of virus release. However, at least one M group HIV-1 strain, the macrophage-tropic primary AD8 isolate, is unable to express Vpu due to a mutation in its translation initiation codon. Here, using primary monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs), we show that AD8 Nef protein can compensate for the absence of Vpu and restore virus release to wild type levels. We demonstrate that HIV-1 AD8 Nef reduces endogenous cell surface tetherin levels, physically separating it from the site of viral budding, thus preventing HIV retention. Mechanistically, AD8 Nef enhances internalisation of the long isoform of human tetherin, leading to perinuclear accumulation of the restriction factor. Finally, we show that Nef proteins from other HIV strains also display varying degrees of tetherin antagonism. Overall, we show that M group HIV-1s can use an accessory protein other than Vpu to antagonise human tetherin.
Project description:Simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs) use their Nef proteins to counteract the restriction factor tetherin. However, a deletion in human tetherin prevents antagonism by the Nef proteins of SIVcpz and SIVgor, which represent the ape precursors of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). To promote virus release from infected cells, pandemic HIV-1 group M strains evolved Vpu as a tetherin antagonist, while the Nef protein of less widespread HIV-1 group O strains acquired the ability to target a region adjacent to this deletion. In this study, we identified an unusual HIV-1 group O strain (RBF206) that evolved Vpu as an effective antagonist of human tetherin. While both RBF206 Vpu and Nef exert anti-tetherin activity in transient-transfection assays, mainly Vpu promotes RBF206 release in infected CD4+ T cells. Although mutations distinct from the adaptive changes observed in group M Vpus (M-Vpus) were critical for the acquisition of its anti-tetherin activity, RBF206 O-Vpu potently suppresses NF-κB activation and reduces CD4 cell surface expression. Interestingly, RBF206 Vpu counteracts tetherin in a largely species-independent manner, degrading both the long and short isoforms of human tetherin. Downmodulation of CD4, but not counteraction of tetherin, by RBF206 Vpu was dependent on the cellular ubiquitin ligase machinery. Our data present the first example of an HIV-1 group O Vpu that efficiently antagonizes human tetherin and suggest that counteraction by O-Nefs may be suboptimal.IMPORTANCE Previous studies showed that HIV-1 groups M and O evolved two alternative strategies to counteract the human ortholog of the restriction factor tetherin. While HIV-1 group M switched from Nef to Vpu due to a deletion in the cytoplasmic domain of human tetherin, HIV-1 group O, which lacks Vpu-mediated anti-tetherin activity, acquired a Nef protein that is able to target a region adjacent to the deletion. Here we report an unusual exception, identifying a strain of HIV-1 group O (RBF206) whose Vpu protein evolved an effective antagonism of human tetherin. Interestingly, the adaptive changes in RBF206 Vpu are distinct from those found in M-Vpus and mediate efficient counteraction of both the long and short isoforms of this restriction factor. Our results further illustrate the enormous flexibility of HIV-1 in counteracting human defense mechanisms.