CXCR4 mediates entry and productive infection of syncytia-inducing (x4) hiv-1 strains in primary macrophages
Kostrikis, Leontios G.
Pavlakis, G. N.
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CCR5 and CXCR4 are the main coreceptors for non-syncytia-inducing (NSI) and syncytia-inducing (SI) HIV-1 strains, respectively. NSI HIV-1 isolates do not infect either human lymphoid or monocytoid cell lines, and this inability correlates with the absence of CCR5 expression in these cell types. The ability of SI HIV-1 isolates to infect human primary macrophages has been disputed. Here, we report that CXCR4 is expressed in primary blood-derived human mononuclear phagocytes at all stages of differentiation, although the maturation process correlates with downregulation of CXCR4 mRNA. Infection experiments with the SI molecular clone NL4-3 tagged with a mutant of the green fluorescent protein established that both monocytes and attached macrophages are susceptible to infection with CXCR4-restricted HIV-1 strains. NL4-3 entry into primary macrophages could be blocked by SDF-1α in a dose- dependent manner, or by the anti-CXCR4 monoclonal antibody 12G5. HIV-1 entry led to productive infection. No evidence of postentry defects or nuclear import delay for CXCR4-restricted HIV-1 strains was detected using a quantitative real-time PCR assay measuring HIV-1 DNA entry into the nucleus. Macrophages infected by HIV-1 and expressing virus were maintained in culture for long periods of time (up to 5 months). These results demonstrate that CXCR4 is the main HIV-1 SI coreceptor in human primary macrophages and underline the importance of the macrophage as a long-living viral reservoir for HIV-1. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
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