Accelerated in vivo proliferation of memory phenotype CD4+ T-cells in human HIV-1 infection irrespective of viral chemokine co-receptor tropism.
ABSTRACT: CD4(+) T-cell loss is the hallmark of HIV-1 infection. CD4 counts fall more rapidly in advanced disease when CCR5-tropic viral strains tend to be replaced by X4-tropic viruses. We hypothesized: (i) that the early dominance of CCR5-tropic viruses results from faster turnover rates of CCR5(+) cells, and (ii) that X4-tropic strains exert greater pathogenicity by preferentially increasing turnover rates within the CXCR4(+) compartment. To test these hypotheses we measured in vivo turnover rates of CD4(+) T-cell subpopulations sorted by chemokine receptor expression, using in vivo deuterium-glucose labeling. Deuterium enrichment was modeled to derive in vivo proliferation (p) and disappearance (d*) rates which were related to viral tropism data. 13 healthy controls and 13 treatment-naive HIV-1-infected subjects (CD4 143-569 cells/ul) participated. CCR5-expression defined a CD4(+) subpopulation of predominantly CD45R0(+) memory cells with accelerated in vivo proliferation (p = 2.50 vs 1.60%/d, CCR5(+) vs CCR5(-); healthy controls; P<0.01). Conversely, CXCR4 expression defined CD4(+) T-cells (predominantly CD45RA(+) naive cells) with low turnover rates. The dominant effect of HIV infection was accelerated turnover of CCR5(+)CD45R0(+)CD4(+) memory T-cells (p = 5.16 vs 2.50%/d, HIV vs controls; P<0.05), naïve cells being relatively unaffected. Similar patterns were observed whether the dominant circulating HIV-1 strain was R5-tropic (n = 9) or X4-tropic (n = 4). Although numbers were small, X4-tropic viruses did not appear to specifically drive turnover of CXCR4-expressing cells (p = 0.54 vs 0.72 vs 0.44%/d in control, R5-tropic, and X4-tropic groups respectively). Our data are most consistent with models in which CD4(+) T-cell loss is primarily driven by non-specific immune activation.
Project description:HIV-1 entry requires the cell surface expression of CD4 and either the CCR5 or CXCR4 coreceptors on host cells. Individuals homozygous for the ccr5?32 polymorphism do not express CCR5 and are protected from infection by CCR5-tropic (R5) virus strains. As an approach to inactivating CCR5, we introduced CCR5-specific zinc-finger nucleases into human CD4+ T cells prior to adoptive transfer, but the need to protect cells from virus strains that use CXCR4 (X4) in place of or in addition to CCR5 (R5X4) remains. Here we describe engineering a pair of zinc finger nucleases that, when introduced into human T cells, efficiently disrupt cxcr4 by cleavage and error-prone non-homologous DNA end-joining. The resulting cells proliferated normally and were resistant to infection by X4-tropic HIV-1 strains. CXCR4 could also be inactivated in ccr5?32 CD4+ T cells, and we show that such cells were resistant to all strains of HIV-1 tested. Loss of CXCR4 also provided protection from X4 HIV-1 in a humanized mouse model, though this protection was lost over time due to the emergence of R5-tropic viral mutants. These data suggest that CXCR4-specific ZFNs may prove useful in establishing resistance to CXCR4-tropic HIV for autologous transplant in HIV-infected individuals.
Project description:In 50% of progressing HIV-1 patients, CXCR4-tropic (X4) virus emerges late in infection, often overtaking CCR5-tropic (R5) virus as the dominant viral strain. This "phenotypic switch" is strongly associated with rapidly declining CD4(+) T cell counts and AIDS onset, yet its causes remain unknown. Here, we analyze a mathematical model for the mechanism of X4 emergence in late-stage HIV infection and use this analysis to evaluate the utility of a promising new class of antiretroviral drugs -- CCR5 inhibitors -- in dual R5, X4 infection. The model shows that the R5-to-X4 switch occurs as CD4(+) T cell activation levels increase above a threshold and as CD4(+) T cell counts decrease below a threshold during late-stage HIV infection. Importantly, the model also shows that highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) can inhibit X4 emergence but that monotherapy with CCR5 blockers can accelerate X4 onset and immunodeficiency if X4 infection of memory CD4(+) T cells occurs at a high rate. Fortunately, when CXCR4 blockers or HAART are used in conjunction with CCR5 blockers, this risk of accelerated immunodeficiency is eliminated. The results suggest that CCR5 blockers will be more effective when used in combination with CXCR4 blockers and caution against CCR5 blockers in the absence of an effective HAART regimen or during HAART failure.
Project description:Restriction factors constitute a newly appreciated line of innate immune defense, blocking viral replication inside of infected cells. In contrast to these antiviral proteins, some cellular proteins, such as the CD4, CCR5, and CXCR4 cell surface receptors, facilitate HIV replication. We have used zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) to insert a cocktail of anti-HIV restriction factors into the CCR5 locus in a T-cell reporter line, knocking out the CCR5 gene in the process. Mirroring the logic of highly active antiretroviral therapy, this strategy provides multiple parallel blocks to infection, dramatically limiting pathways for viral escape, without relying on random integration of transgenes into the genome. Because of the combination of blocks that this strategy creates, our modified T-cell lines are robustly resistant to both CCR5-tropic (R5-tropic) and CXCR4-tropic (X4-tropic) HIV-1. While zinc finger nuclease-mediated CCR5 disruption alone, which mimics the strategy being used in clinical trials, confers 16-fold protection against R5-tropic HIV, it has no effect against X4-tropic virus. Rhesus TRIM5?, chimeric human-rhesus TRIM5?, APOBEC3G D128K, or Rev M10 alone targeted to CCR5 confers significantly improved resistance to infection by both variants compared with CCR5 disruption alone. The combination of three factors targeted to CCR5 blocks infection at multiple stages, providing virtually complete protection against infection by R5-tropic and X4-tropic HIV.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Resting CD4+ T cells are major reservoirs of latent HIV-1 infection, and may be formed during the early phase of the infection. Although CCR5-tropic (R5) HIV-1 is highly transmissible during the early phase, newly infected individuals have usually been exposed to a mixture of R5 and CXCR4-tropic (X4) viruses, and X4 viral DNA is also detectable in the host. Our aim was to identify which subsets of resting CD4+ T cells contribute to forming the latent reservoir in the presence of both X4 and R5 viruses. RESULTS:Primary resting CD4+ naïve T (TN) cells, CCR5- memory T (TM) cells, and CCR5+ TM cells isolated by flow cytometry were infected simultaneously with X4 and R5 HIV-1, which harbored different reporter genes, and were cultured in the resting condition. Flow cytometry at 3 days post-infection demonstrated that X4 HIV-1+ cells were present in all three subsets of cells, whereas R5 HIV-1+ cells were present preferentially in CCR5+ TM cells, but not in TN cells. Following CD3/CD28-mediated activation at 3 days post-infection, numbers of R5 HIV-1+ cells and X4 HIV-1+ cells increased significantly only in the CCR5+ TM subset, suggesting that it provides a major reservoir of replication-competent, latently infected viruses.
Project description:BACKGROUND: 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. METHODS: 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. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSIONS: 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:HIV-1 infections lead to a progressive depletion of CD4 cells culminating in AIDS. The coreceptor usage by HIV varies from CCR5 (R5) tropic early in infection to CXCR4 (X4) tropic in later infections. Although the coreceptor switch from R5 to X4 tropic HIV is well associated with progression to AIDS, the role of CCR5 in disease progression especially in patients infected exclusively with R5 isolates throughout the disease remains enigmatic. To better understand the role of CCR5 and R5 tropic HIV envelope in AIDS pathogenesis, we asked whether the levels of CCR5 and/or HIV Env-mediated fusion determine apoptosis of bystander cells. We generated CD4(+) T cell lines expressing varying levels of CCR5 on the cell surface to show that CCR5 expression levels correlate with bystander apoptosis induction. The mechanism of apoptosis involved caspase-3 activation and mitochondrial depolarization and was dependent on gp41 fusion activity as confirmed by fusion-restricted gp41 point mutants and use of the fusion inhibitor T20. Interestingly, lower levels of CCR5 were able to support virus replication in the absence of bystander apoptosis. Our findings suggest that R5 HIV-1-mediated bystander apoptosis is dependent on both CCR5 expression levels as well as fusogenic activity of the Env glycoprotein.
Project description:BACKGROUND: HIV-1 infects the host cell by interacting with the primary receptor CD4 and a coreceptor CCR5 or CXCR4. Maraviroc, a CCR5 antagonist binds to CCR5 receptor. Thus, it is important to identify the coreceptor used by the HIV strains dominating in the patient. In past, a number of experimental assays and in-silico techniques have been developed for predicting the coreceptor tropism. The prediction accuracy of these methods is excellent when predicting CCR5(R5) tropic sequences but is relatively poor for CXCR4(X4) tropic sequences. Therefore, any new method for accurate determination of coreceptor usage would be of paramount importance to the successful management of HIV-infected individuals. RESULTS: The dataset used in this study comprised 1799 R5-tropic and 598 X4-tropic third variable (V3) sequences of HIV-1. We compared the amino acid composition of both types of V3 sequences and observed that certain types of residues, e.g., Asparagine and Isoleucine, were preferred in R5-tropic sequences whereas residues like Lysine, Arginine, and Tryptophan were preferred in X4-tropic sequences. Initially, Support Vector Machine-based models were developed using amino acid composition, dipeptide composition, and split amino acid composition, which achieved accuracy up to 90%. We used BLAST to discriminate R5- and X4-tropic sequences and correctly predicted 93.16% of R5- and 75.75% of X4-tropic sequences. In order to improve the prediction accuracy, a Hybrid model was developed that achieved 91.66% sensitivity, 81.77% specificity, 89.19% accuracy and 0.72 Matthews Correlation Coefficient. The performance of our models was also evaluated on an independent dataset (256 R5- and 81 X4-tropic sequences) and achieved maximum accuracy of 84.87% with Matthews Correlation Coefficient 0.63. CONCLUSION: This study describes a highly efficient method for predicting HIV-1 coreceptor usage from V3 sequences. In order to provide a service to the scientific community, a webserver HIVcoPred was developed (http://www.imtech.res.in/raghava/hivcopred/) for predicting the coreceptor usage.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Small chemical compounds which target chemokine receptors have been developed against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and are under investigation for use as anti-HIV-1 microbicides. In addition, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against chemokine receptors have also been shown to have anti-HIV-1 activities. The objective of the present study was to screen a panel of three anti-CXCR4 specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for their ability to block the HIV-1 infection using in vitro activated primary peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).<h4>Results</h4>PBMCs from normal donors were pre-activated with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 mAbs for 1 day, and aliquots were infected with a low dose of CCR5-tropic (R5), CXCR4 tropic (X4) or dual tropic (X4R5) HIV-1 isolates and cultured in the presence of a panel of anti-CXCR4 mAbs. The panel included clones A145 mAb against the N-terminus, A120 mAb against a conformational epitope consisting of extracellular loops (ECL)1 and ECL2, and A80 mAb against ECL3 of CXCR4. Among these mAbs, the A120 mAb showed the most potent inhibition of infection, by not only X4 but surprisingly also R5 and X4R5 HIV-1. The inhibition of R5 HIV-1 was postulated to result from the novel ability of the A120 mAb to induce the levels of the CCR5-binding ?-chemokines MIP-1?, MIP-1? and/or RANTES, and the down modulation of CCR5 expression on activated CD4+ T cells. Neutralizing anti-MIP-1? mAb significantly reversed the inhibitory effect of the A120 mAb on R5 HIV-1 infection.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The data described herein have identified a unique epitope of CXCR4 whose ligation not only directly inhibits X4 HIV-1, but also indirectly inhibits R5 HIV-1 infection by inducing higher levels of natural CCR5 ligands.
Project description:CCR5 (R5)-tropic, but not CXCR4 (X4)-tropic, HIV-1 is associated with primary HIV-1 infection and transmission. Recent studies have shown that IFN-induced transmembrane (IFITM) proteins, including IFITM1, IFITM2, and IFITM3, restrict a broad range of viruses. Here, we demonstrate that an IFITM2 isoform (Δ20 IFITM2) lacking 20 amino acids at the N terminus differentially restricts X4 and R5 HIV-1. Δ20 IFITM2 suppresses replication of X4 HIV-1 strains by inhibiting their entry. High levels of Δ20 IFITM2 expression could be detected in CD4+ T cells and in monocytes. Infection of X4 viruses in monocyte-derived macrophages and dendritic cells is enhanced upon depletion of IFITM2 isoforms. Furthermore, we also show that coreceptor use is the determining factor for differential HIV-1 restriction of Δ20 IFITM2. When we replace the C terminus of CCR5 with the C terminus of CXCR4, R5 viruses become more susceptible to Δ20 IFITM2-mediated restriction. In contrast to previous studies, our research reveals that neither X4 nor R5 HIV-1 is suppressed by IFITM2 and IFITM3. The multifactor gatekeeping model has been proposed to explain restriction of X4 viruses in the early stage of HIV-1 diseases. Our findings indicate that Δ20 IFITM2 may serve as a major contributor to this gatekeeping mechanism.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>Although founder viruses in primary HIV-1 infections (PHIs) typically use the CCR5 coreceptor (R5-tropic), 3%-19% of subjects also harbour CXCR4-using viruses (X4-tropic), making tropism determination before CCR5 antagonist usage mandatory. Genotypic methods can be used to accurately determine HIV-1 tropism in chronically infected patients.<h4>Methods</h4>We compared the results of genotypic methods [geno2pheno, PSSMx4r5 including a novel nucleotide-input version (ntPSSM) and distant segments (ds)Kernel] to predict coreceptor usage in a cohort of 67 PHIs. Specimens with discrepant results were phenotypically tested after cloning the V3 gene region into proviral backbones. Recombinant viruses were used to infect U87 indicator cell lines bearing CD4 and either CCR5 or CXCR4.<h4>Results</h4>Geno2pheno10%, PSSMx4r5 and (ds)Kernel gave identical predictions in 85% of cases. Geno2pheno10% predicted the presence of CXCR4 viruses in 18% of patients. Two patients were predicted to carry X4-tropic viruses by all algorithms and X4-tropic viruses were detected in at least one of the recombinant AD8 or NL4-3 backbone-based assays. Ten samples resulted in discordant predictions with at least one algorithm. Full concordance between tropism prediction by using population sequencing and phenotypic assays was observed only with ntPSSM. Geno2pheno prediction and the phenotypic assay gave the same results in a minority of 'discordant' patients.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Compared with both PSSMx4r5 versions, (ds)Kernel and our phenotypic assay, geno2pheno10% overestimated the frequency of X4-tropic viruses (18% versus 3%). ntPSSM was able to detect one additional X4 virus compared with (ds)Kernel that was confirmed with the phenotypic assay.