Program in Molecular Medicine; Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Brain; HIV Envelope Protein gp120; HIV-1; Macrophages; Viral Tropism
Immunology and Infectious Disease | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Virology | Virus Diseases
BACKGROUND: Transmitted HIV-1 clade B or C R5 viruses have been reported to infect macrophages inefficiently, while other studies have described R5 viruses in late disease with either an enhanced macrophage-tropism or carrying envelopes with an increased positive charge and fitness. In contrast, our previous data suggested that viruses carrying non-macrophage-tropic R5 envelopes were still predominant in immune tissue of AIDS patients. To further investigate the tropism and charge of HIV-1 viruses in late disease, we evaluated the properties of HIV-1 envelopes amplified from immune and brain tissues of AIDS patients with neurological complications.
RESULTS: Almost all envelopes amplified were R5. There was clear compartmentalization of envelope sequences for four of the five subjects. However, strong compartmentalization of macrophage-tropism in brain was observed even when brain and immune tissue envelope sequences were not segregated. R5 envelopes from immune tissue of four subjects carried a higher positive charge compared to brain envelopes. We also confirm a significant correlation between macrophage tropism and sensitivity to soluble CD4, a weak association with sensitivity to the CD4 binding site antibody, b12, but no clear relationship with maraviroc sensitivity.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that non-macrophage-tropic R5 envelopes carrying gp120s with an increased positive charge were predominant in immune tissue in late disease. However, highly macrophage-tropic variants with lower charged gp120s were nearly universal in the brain. These results are consistent with HIV-1 R5 envelopes evolving gp120s with an increased positive charge in immune tissue or sites outside the brain that likely reflect an adaptation for increased replication or fitness for CD4+ T-cells. Our data are consistent with the presence of powerful pressures in brain and in immune tissues selecting for R5 envelopes with very different properties; high macrophage-tropism, sCD4 sensitivity and low positive charge in brain and non-macrophage-tropism, sCD4 resistance and high positive charge in immune tissue.
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© 2012 Gonzalez-Perez et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI of Published Version
Retrovirology. 2012 Mar 15;9:20. Link to article on publisher's site
Gonzalez-Perez, Maria Paz; O'Connell, Olivia; Lin, Rongheng; Sullivan, W. Matthew; Bell, Jeanne E.; Simmonds, Peter; and Clapham, Paul R., "Independent evolution of macrophage-tropism and increased charge between HIV-1 R5 envelopes present in brain and immune tissue" (2012). Open Access Articles. 2324.