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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Fusogenic selectivity of the envelope glycoprotein is a major determinant of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 tropism for CD4+ T-cell lines vs. primary macrophages.

We investigated the relationship between the fusion selectivity of the envelope glycoprotein ( env) and the tropism of different human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) isolates for CD4+ human T-cell lines vs. primary macrophages. Recombinant vaccinia viruses were prepared encoding the envs from several well-characterized HIV-1 isolates with distinct cytotropisms. Cells expressing the recombinant envs were mixed with various CD4+ partner cell types; cell fusion was monitored by a quantitative reporter gene assay and by syncytia formation. With CD4+ continuous cell lines as partners (T-cell lines, HeLa cells expressing recombinant CD4), efficient fusion occurred with the envs from T-cell line-tropic isolates (IIIB, LAV, SF2, and RF) but not with the envs from macrophage-tropic isolates (JR-FL, SF162, ADA, and Ba-L). The opposite selectivity pattern was observed with primary macrophages as cell partners; stronger fusion occurred with the envs from the macrophage-tropic than from the T-cell line-tropic isolates. All the envs showed fusion activity with peripheral blood mononuclear cells as partners, consistent with the ability of this cell population to support replication of all the corresponding HIV-1 isolates. These fusion selectivities were maintained irrespective of the cell type used to express env, thereby excluding a role for differential host cell modification. We conclude that the intrinsic fusion selectivity of env plays a major role in the tropism of a HIV-1 isolate for infection of CD4+ T-cell lines vs. primary macrophages, presumably by determining the selectivity of virus entry and cell fusion.[1]


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