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[en] CMV infection is characterized by high of frequencies of CD27-CD28- T cells. Here we demonstrate that CMV-specific CD4+CD27-CD28- cells are regulatory T cells (TR). CD4+CD27-CD28- cells sorted from CMV-stimulated PBMC of CMV-seropositive donors inhibited de novo CMV-specific proliferation of autologous PBMC in a dose-dependent fashion. Compared with the entire CMV-stimulated CD4+ T-cell population, higher proportions of CD4+CD27-CD28- TR expressed FoxP3, TGFβ, granzyme B, perforin, GITR and PD-1, lower proportions expressed CD127 and PD1-L and similar proportions expressed CD25, CTLA4, Fas-L and GITR-L. CMV-CD4+CD27-CD28- TR expanded in response to IL-2, but not to CMV antigenic restimulation. The anti-proliferative effect of CMV-CD4+CD27-CD28- TR significantly decreased after granzyme B or TGFβ inhibition. The CMV-CD4+CD27-CD28- TR of HIV-infected and uninfected donors had similar phenotypes and anti-proliferative potency, but HIV-infected individuals had higher proportions of CMV-CD4+CD27-CD28- TR. The CMV-CD4+CD27-CD28- TR may contribute to the downregulation of CMV-specific and nonspecific immune responses of CMV-infected individuals.
[en] The V3 loop of the glycoprotein gp120 of HIV-1 plays an important role in viral entry into cells by utilizing as coreceptor CCR5 or CXCR4, and is implicated in the phenotypic tropisms of HIV viruses. It has been hypothesized that the interaction between the V3 loop and CCR5 or CXCR4 is mediated by electrostatics. We have performed hierarchical clustering analysis of the spatial distributions of electrostatic potentials and charges of V3 loop structures containing consensus sequences of HIV-1 subtypes. Although the majority of consensus sequences have a net charge of +3, the spatial distribution of their electrostatic potentials and charges may be a discriminating factor for binding and infectivity. This is demonstrated by the formation of several small subclusters, within major clusters, which indicates common origin but distinct spatial details of electrostatic properties. Some of this information may be present, in a coarse manner, in clustering of sequences, but the spatial details are largely lost. We show the effect of ionic strength on clustering of electrostatic potentials, information that is not present in clustering of charges or sequences. We also make correlations between clustering of electrostatic potentials and net charge, coreceptor selectivity, global prevalence, and geographic distribution. Finally, we interpret coreceptor selectivity based on the N6X7T8|S8X9 sequence glycosylation motif, the specific positive charge location according to the 11/24/25 rule, and the overall charge and electrostatic potential distribution. We propose that in addition to the sequence and the net charge of the V3 loop of each subtype, the spatial distributions of electrostatic potentials and charges may also be important factors for receptor recognition and binding and subsequent viral entry into cells. This implies that the overall electrostatic potential is responsible for long-range recognition of the V3 loop with coreceptors CCR5/CXCR4, whereas the charge distribution contributes to the specific short-range interactions responsible for the formation of the bound complex. We also propose a scheme for coreceptor selectivity based on the sequence glycosylation motif, the 11/24/25 rule, and net charge.
[en] In addition to the ability to bind the retroviral capsid protein, the retroviral restriction factors Fv1, Trim5α and Trim5-CypA share the common property of containing sequences that promote self-association. Otherwise Fv1 and Trim5α appear unrelated. Mutational analyses showed that restriction was invariably lost when changes designed to disrupt the sequences responsible for multimerization were introduced. A novel restriction protein could be obtained by substituting sequences from the self-associating domain of Fv1 for the Trim5 sequences in Trim5-CypA. Similarly, a fusion protein containing cyclophilin A joined to arfaptin2, a protein known to form extended dimers, was also shown to restrict HIV-1. Hence, multimerization of a capsid-binding domain could be the common minimum design feature for capsid-dependent retroviral restriction factors. However, not all domains that promote multimerization can substitute for the N-terminal domains of Fv1 and Trim5α. Moreover, only CypA can provide a capsid-binding site with different N-terminal domains. It is suggested that the spatial relationship between the multiple target binding sites may be important for restriction
[en] Botswana has experienced a dramatic increase in HIV-related malignancies over the past decade. The BOTSOGO collaboration sought to establish a sustainable partnership with the Botswana oncology community to improve cancer care. This collaboration is anchored by regular tumor boards and on-site visits that have resulted in the introduction of new approaches to treatment and perceived improvements in care, providing a model for partnership between academic oncology centers and high-burden countries with limited resources
[en] R5 HIV-1 strains resistant to the CCR5 antagonist Maraviroc (MVC) can use drug-bound CCR5. We demonstrate that MVC-resistant HIV-1 exhibits delayed kinetics of coreceptor engagement and fusion during drug-bound versus free CCR5 infection of cell lines. Antibodies directed against the second extracellular loop (ECL2) of CCR5 had greater antiviral activity against MVC-bound compared to MVC-free CCR5 infection. However, in PBMCs, only ECL2 CCR5 antibodies HGS004 and HGS101, but not 2D7, inhibited infection by MVC resistant HIV-1 more potently with MVC-bound than with free CCR5. In addition, HGS004 and HGS101, but not 2D7, restored the antiviral activity of MVC against resistant virus in PBMCs. In flow cytometric studies, CCR5 binding by the HGS mAbs, but not by 2D7, was increased when PBMCs were treated with MVC, suggesting MVC increases exposure of the relevant epitope. Thus, HGS004 and HGS101 have antiviral mechanisms distinct from 2D7 and could help overcome MVC resistance.
[en] The membrane-spanning domain (MSD) of human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein (Env) is critical for its biological activity. Initial studies have defined an almost invariant 'core' structure in the MSD and demonstrated that it is crucial for anchoring Env in the membrane and virus entry. We show here that amino acid substitutions in the MSD 'core' do not influence specific virus-cell attachment, nor CD4 receptor and CXCR4 coreceptor recognition by Env. However, substitutions within the MSD 'core' delayed the kinetics and reduced the efficiency of cell-cell fusion mediated by Env. Although we observed no evidence that membrane fusion mediated by the MSD core mutants was arrested at a hemifusion stage, impaired Env fusogenicity was correlated with minor conformational changes in the V2, C1, and C5 regions in gp120 and the immunodominant loop in gp41. These changes could delay initiation of the conformational changes required in the fusion process.
[en] Research highlights: → Ligation of CTP with GP64 enhances baculovirus transduction into mammalian cells. → Fusion of PTD with VP39 enhances baculovirus transduction into mammalian cells. → CTP and PTD-carrying viruses improve the transduction of co-transduced baculoviruses. → Virus entry and gene expression can be separate events in different cell types. -- Abstract: The baculovirus group of insect viruses is widely used for foreign gene introduction into mammalian cells for gene expression and protein production; however, the efficiency of baculovirus entry into mammalian cells is in general still low. In this study, two recombinant baculoviruses were engineered and their ability to improve viral entry was examined: (1) cytoplasmic transduction peptide (CTP) was fused with baculovirus envelope protein, GP64, to produce a cytoplasmic membrane penetrating baculovirus (vE-CTP); and (2) the protein transduction domain (PTD) of HIV TAT protein was fused with the baculovirus capsid protein VP39 to form a nuclear membrane penetrating baculovirus (vE-PTD). Transduction experiments showed that both viruses had better transduction efficiency than vE, a control virus that only expresses EGFP in mammalian cells. Interestingly, vE-CTP and vE-PTD were also able to improve the transduction efficiency of a co-transduced baculovirus, resulting in higher levels of gene expression. Our results have described new routes to further enhance the development of baculovirus as a tool for gene delivery into mammalian cells.
[en] The peptidic anti-HIV drug T20 (Fuzeon) and its analog C34 share a common heptad repeat (HR) sequence, but they have different functional domains, i.e., pocket- and lipid-binding domains (PBD and LBD, respectively). We hypothesize that novel anti-HIV peptides may be designed by using artificial sequences containing multiple copies of HR motifs plus zero, one or two functional domains. Surprisingly, we found that the peptides containing only the non-natural HR sequences could significantly inhibit HIV-1 infection, while addition of PBD and/or LBD to the peptides resulted in significant improvement of anti-HIV-1 activity. These results suggest that these artificial HR sequences, which may serve as structural domains, could be used as templates for the design of novel antiviral peptides against HIV and other viruses with class I fusion proteins
[en] Lv2 is a human factor that restricts infection of some HIV-2 viruses after entry into particular target cells. HIV-2 MCR is highly susceptible to Lv2 whereas HIV-2 MCN is not. The block is after reverse transcription but prior to nuclear entry. The viral determinants for this restriction have been mapped to the HIV-2 envelope and the capsid genes. Our model of Lv2 restriction suggests that the route taken into a cell is important in determining whether a productive infection occurs. Here we characterised the infectious routes used by MCN and MCR using chemical compounds and molecular techniques to distinguish between potential pathways. Our results suggest that susceptible MCR can enter restrictive HeLaCD4 cells via two pathways; a clathrin/AP2 mediated endocytic route that is sensitive to Lv2 restriction and an alternative, non-clathrin mediated route, which results in more efficient infection.