Publications

2006
Ancuta P, Wang J, Gabuzda D. CD16+ monocytes produce IL-6, CCL2, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 upon interaction with CX3CL1-expressing endothelial cells. J Leukoc Biol. 2006;80 (5) :1156-64.Abstract
The CD16+ subset of peripheral blood monocytes (Mo) is expanded dramatically during inflammatory conditions including sepsis, HIV-1 infection, and cancer. CD16+ express high levels of CX3CR1, which mediates arrest onto CX3CL1-expressing endothelial cells (EC) under flow conditions. In contrast, attachment of CD16- Mo onto cytokine-activated EC is independent of CX3CL1. Here, we investigate the ability of CD16+ and CD16- Mo to produce proinflammatory cytokines upon interaction with CX3CL1-expressing HUVEC. We demonstrate that CD16+ but not CD16- Mo produce high levels of IL-6, CCL2, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 when cocultured with TNF/IFN-gamma-activated HUVEC or nonactivated HUVEC expressing CX3CL1. Furthermore, supernatants from Mo cocultured with cytokine-activated HUVEC induce neuronal death in vitro. These results suggest that membrane-bound CX3CL1 stimulates production of IL-6, CCL2, and MMP-9 by CD16+ Mo, likely via engagement of CX3CR1. Thus, expansion of CD16+ Mo and their accumulation onto CX3CL1-expressing EC may result in recruitment of Mo and T cell subsets at sites of inflammation in response to CCL2, IL-6-induced cell activation and/or differentiation, and MMP-9-mediated vascular and tissue injury.
Dunfee RL, Thomas ER, Gorry PR, Wang J, Taylor J, Kunstman K, Wolinsky SM, Gabuzda D. The HIV Env variant N283 enhances macrophage tropism and is associated with brain infection and dementia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006;103 (41) :15160-5.Abstract
HIV infects tissue macrophages and brain microglia, which express lower levels of CD4 and CCR5 than CD4+ T cells in peripheral blood. Mechanisms that enhance HIV tropism for macrophages in the CNS and other tissues are not well understood. Here, we identify an HIV envelope glycoprotein (Env) variant in the CD4-binding site of gp120, Asn 283 (N283), that is present at a high frequency in brain tissues from AIDS patients with HIV-associated dementia (HAD). N283 increases gp120 affinity for CD4 by decreasing the gp120-CD4 dissociation rate, enhancing the capacity of HIV Envs to use low levels of CD4 for virus entry and increasing viral replication in macrophages and microglia. Structural modeling suggests that the enhanced ability of Envs with N283 to use low levels of CD4 is due to a hydrogen bond formed with Gln 40 of CD4. N283 is significantly more frequent in brain-derived Envs from HAD patients (41%; n=330) compared with non-HAD patients (8%; n=151; P<0.001). These findings suggest that the macrophage-tropic HIV Env variant N283 is associated with brain infection and dementia in vivo, representing an example of a HIV variant associated with a specific AIDS-related complication.
Wang J, Gabuzda D. Reconstitution of human immunodeficiency virus-induced neurodegeneration using isolated populations of human neurons, astrocytes, and microglia and neuroprotection mediated by insulin-like growth factors. J Neurovirol. 2006;12 (6) :472-91.Abstract
Primary human neuron cultures are an important in vitro model system for studies on mechanisms involved in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated dementia (HAD) and other neurological disorders. Here, more than 80 cell surface antigens were screened to identify a marker that could readily distinguish between neurons and astrocytes and found that neurons lack CD44 surface expression, whereas astrocytes and other cell types in brain are CD44+. Neurons and astrocytes were isolated from human fetal brain based on differential expression of CD44. Using purified neurons cocultured with astrocytes and/or microglia, it was demonstrated that HIV infection of microglia induces cellular activation and production of soluble factors that activate uninfected microglia and astrocytes and induce neuronal cell death. Activated astrocytes promoted HIV replication in microglia, thereby amplifying HIV-induced neurotoxicity. A screen for 120 cytokine/proteins detected upregulation of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-binding protein (IGFBP)-2, interleukin (IL)-6, and CCL8/MCP-2 (monocyte chemoattractant protein 2) in supernatants of HIV-infected brain cell cultures. IGF-1 and -2 increased neuronal survival in HIV-infected brain cell cultures, whereas IGFBP-2 inhibited prosurvival effects of these growth factors. These findings identify CD44 as a marker that can be used to sort neurons from other cell types in brain, suggest the importance of microglia-astrocyte interactions in neurodegenerative mechanisms associated with HIV infection, and indicate a role for insulin-like growth factors in neuroprotection from HIV-induced neurodegeneration. The ability to reconstitute brain cultures using isolated populations of neurons, astrocytes, and microglia will be valuable for studies on pathogenic mechanisms in HAD and other neurological disorders, and will also facilitate neuroactive drug discovery.
2007
Agopian K, Wei BL, Garcia VJ, Gabuzda D. CD4 and MHC-I downregulation are conserved in primary HIV-1 Nef alleles from brain and lymphoid tissues, but Pak2 activation is highly variable. Virology. 2007;358 (1) :119-35.Abstract
HIV-1 compartmentalization in the CNS has been demonstrated for gag, pol, and env genes. However, little is known about tissue compartmentalization of nef genes and their functional characteristics in brain. We have cloned 97 nef genes and characterized 10 Nef proteins from autopsy brain and lymphoid tissues from 2 patients with AIDS and HIV-1-associated dementia. Distinct compartmentalization of brain versus lymphoid nef genes was demonstrated within each patient. CD4 and MHC-I downregulation were conserved in all tissue-derived Nefs. However, MHC-I downregulation by brain-derived Nefs was weaker than downregulation by lymphoid-derived Nefs. The motifs KEEE- or EKEE- at the PACS-1 binding site represented brain-specific signature patterns in these 2 patients and contributed to the reduced MHC-I downregulation activity of brain-derived Nefs from these patients. Pak2 association was highly variable in Nefs from both patients. Three of 10 tissue-derived Nefs coimmunoprecipitated activated Pak2, with strong association demonstrated for only 2 Nefs. The ability of Nef to associate with activated Pak2 did not correlate with brain or lymphoid tissue origin. Nef genes from viruses isolated from brain by coculture with PBMC were not closely related to sequences amplified directly from brain tissue, suggesting that viral selection or adaptation occurred during coculture. This study of tissue-derived HIV-1 Nefs demonstrates that CD4 and MHC-I downregulation are highly conserved Nef functions, while Pak2 association is variable in late stage AIDS patients.
Gorry PR, Dunfee RL, Mefford ME, Kunstman K, Morgan T, Moore JP, Mascola JR, Agopian K, Holm GH, Mehle A, et al. Changes in the V3 region of gp120 contribute to unusually broad coreceptor usage of an HIV-1 isolate from a CCR5 Delta32 heterozygote. Virology. 2007;362 (1) :163-78.Abstract
Heterozygosity for the CCR5 Delta32 allele is associated with delayed progression to AIDS in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. Here we describe an unusual HIV-1 isolate from the blood of an asymptomatic individual who was heterozygous for the CCR5 Delta32 allele and had reduced levels of CCR5 expression. The primary virus used CCR5, CXCR4, and an unusually broad range of alternative coreceptors to enter transfected cells. However, only CXCR4 and CCR5 were used to enter primary T cells and monocyte-derived macrophages, respectively. Full-length Env clones had an unusually long V1/V2 region and rare amino acid variants in the V3 and C4 regions. Mutagenesis studies and structural models suggested that Y308, D321, and to a lesser extent K442 and E444, contribute to the broad coreceptor usage of these Envs, whereas I317 is likely to be a compensatory change. Furthermore, database analysis suggests that covariation can occur at positions 308/317 and 308/321 in vivo. Y308 and D321 reduced dependence on the extracellular loop 2 (ECL2) region of CCR5, while these residues along with Y330, K442, and E444 enhanced dependence on the CCR5 N-terminus compared to clade B consensus residues at these positions. These results suggest that expanded coreceptor usage of HIV-1 can occur in some individuals without rapid progression to AIDS as a consequence of changes in the V3 region that reduce dependence on the ECL2 region of CCR5 by enhancing interactions with conserved structural elements in G-protein-coupled receptors.
Thomas ER, Dunfee RL, Stanton J, Bogdan D, Taylor J, Kunstman K, Bell JE, Wolinsky SM, Gabuzda D. Macrophage entry mediated by HIV Envs from brain and lymphoid tissues is determined by the capacity to use low CD4 levels and overall efficiency of fusion. Virology. 2007;360 (1) :105-19.Abstract
HIV infects macrophages and microglia in the central nervous system (CNS), which express lower levels of CD4 than CD4+ T cells in peripheral blood. To investigate mechanisms of HIV neurotropism, full-length env genes were cloned from autopsy brain and lymphoid tissues from 4 AIDS patients with HIV-associated dementia (HAD). Characterization of 55 functional Env clones demonstrated that Envs with reduced dependence on CD4 for fusion and viral entry are more frequent in brain compared to lymphoid tissue. Envs that mediated efficient entry into macrophages were frequent in brain but were also present in lymphoid tissue. For most Envs, entry into macrophages correlated with overall fusion activity at all levels of CD4 and CCR5. gp160 nucleotide sequences were compartmentalized in brain versus lymphoid tissue within each patient. Proline at position 308 in the V3 loop of gp120 was associated with brain compartmentalization in 3 patients, but mutagenesis studies suggested that P308 alone does not contribute to reduced CD4 dependence or macrophage-tropism. These results suggest that HIV adaptation to replicate in the CNS selects for Envs with reduced CD4 dependence and increased fusion activity. Macrophage-tropic Envs are frequent in brain but are also present in lymphoid tissues of AIDS patients with HAD, and entry into macrophages in the CNS and other tissues is dependent on the ability to use low receptor levels and overall efficiency of fusion.
Sterjovski J, Churchill MJ, Ellett A, Gray LR, Roche MJ, Dunfee RL, Purcell DFJ, Saksena N, Wang B, Sonza S, et al. Asn 362 in gp120 contributes to enhanced fusogenicity by CCR5-restricted HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein variants from patients with AIDS. Retrovirology. 2007;4 :89.Abstract
BACKGROUND: CCR5-restricted (R5) human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) variants cause CD4+ T-cell loss in the majority of individuals who progress to AIDS, but mechanisms underlying the pathogenicity of R5 strains are poorly understood. To better understand envelope glycoprotein (Env) determinants contributing to pathogenicity of R5 viruses, we characterized 37 full-length R5 Envs from cross-sectional and longitudinal R5 viruses isolated from blood of patients with asymptomatic infection or AIDS, referred to as pre-AIDS (PA) and AIDS (A) R5 Envs, respectively. RESULTS: Compared to PA-R5 Envs, A-R5 Envs had enhanced fusogenicity in quantitative cell-cell fusion assays, and reduced sensitivity to inhibition by the fusion inhibitor T-20. Sequence analysis identified the presence of Asn 362 (N362), a potential N-linked glycosylation site immediately N-terminal to CD4-binding site (CD4bs) residues in the C3 region of gp120, more frequently in A-R5 Envs than PA-R5 Envs. N362 was associated with enhanced fusogenicity, faster entry kinetics, and increased sensitivity of Env-pseudotyped reporter viruses to neutralization by the CD4bs-directed Env mAb IgG1b12. Mutagenesis studies showed N362 contributes to enhanced fusogenicity of most A-R5 Envs. Molecular models indicate N362 is located adjacent to the CD4 binding loop of gp120, and suggest N362 may enhance fusogenicity by promoting greater exposure of the CD4bs and/or stabilizing the CD4-bound Env structure. CONCLUSION: Enhanced fusogenicity is a phenotype of the A-R5 Envs studied, which was associated with the presence of N362, enhanced HIV-1 entry kinetics and increased CD4bs exposure in gp120. N362 contributes to fusogenicity of R5 Envs in a strain dependent manner. Our studies suggest enhanced fusogenicity of A-R5 Envs may contribute to CD4+ T-cell loss in subjects who progress to AIDS whilst harbouring R5 HIV-1 variants. N362 may contribute to this effect in some individuals.
Thomas ER, Dunfee RL, Stanton J, Bogdan D, Kunstman K, Wolinsky SM, Gabuzda D. High frequency of defective vpu compared with tat and rev genes in brain from patients with HIV type 1-associated dementia. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2007;23 (4) :575-80.Abstract
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) infection of the central nervous system frequently causes HIV-associated dementia (HAD) and other neurological disorders. The role of HIV regulatory and accessory proteins in the pathogenesis of these disorders is unclear. Here we analyzed sequences of tat, rev, and vpu genes in 55 subgenomic clones previously shown to encode functional env genes from brain and lymphoid tissues of four AIDS patients with HAD. Phylogenetic analysis showed distinct compartmentalization of tat, rev, and vpu genes in brain versus lymphoid tissues. Nine of 19 vpu sequences from brain of two patients had premature stop codons at positions between amino acids 2 and 30, compared with 0 of 8 from lymphoid tissues. Tat sequences from brain (n = 8 of 8) but not lymphoid (n = 0 of 6) tissue from one patient had a 35 amino acid truncation at the C-terminus. Rev sequences from the brain of one patient (n = 6 of 8) had a 5 amino acid truncation. These results demonstrate a high frequency of defective vpu compared with tat and rev genes in brain from HAD patients, and identify sequence variants of these regulatory/accessory genes that may influence the pathogenesis of HIV-associated neurological disease.
Mehle A, Wilson H, Zhang C, Brazier AJ, McPike M, Pery E, Gabuzda D. Identification of an APOBEC3G binding site in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Vif and inhibitors of Vif-APOBEC3G binding. J Virol. 2007;81 (23) :13235-41.Abstract
The APOBEC3 cytidine deaminases are potent antiviral factors that restrict replication of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). HIV-1 Vif binds APOBEC3G and APOBEC3F and targets these proteins for ubiquitination by forming an E3 ubiquitin ligase with cullin 5 and elongins B and C. The N-terminal region of Vif is required for APOBEC3G binding, but the binding site(s) is unknown. To identify the APOBEC3G binding site in Vif, we established a scalable binding assay in a format compatible with development of high-throughput screens. In vitro binding assays using recombinant proteins identified Vif peptides and monoclonal antibodies that inhibit Vif-APOBEC3G binding and suggested involvement of Vif residues 33 to 83 in APOBEC3G binding. Cell-based binding assays confirmed these results and demonstrated that residues 40 to 71 in the N terminus of Vif contain a nonlinear binding site for APOBEC3G. Mutation of the highly conserved residues His42/43 but not other charged residues in this region inhibited Vif-APOBEC3G binding, Vif-mediated degradation of APOBEC3G, and viral infectivity. In contrast, mutation of these residues had no significant effect on Vif binding and degradation of APOBEC3F, suggesting a differential requirement for His42/43 in Vif binding to APOBEC3G and APOBEC3F. These results identify a nonlinear APOBEC3 binding site in the N terminus of Vif and demonstrate that peptides or antibodies directed against this region can inhibit Vif-APOBEC3G binding, validating the Vif-APOBEC3 interface as a potential drug target.
Dunfee RL, Thomas ER, Wang J, Kunstman K, Wolinsky SM, Gabuzda D. Loss of the N-linked glycosylation site at position 386 in the HIV envelope V4 region enhances macrophage tropism and is associated with dementia. Virology. 2007;367 (1) :222-34.Abstract
HIV infects macrophages and microglia in the central nervous system (CNS). Mechanisms that enhance HIV macrophage/microglial tropism are not well understood. Here, we identify an HIV Env variant in the V4 region of gp120, Asp 386 (D386), that eliminates an N-linked glycosylation site at position 386, enhances viral replication in macrophages, and is present at a higher frequency in AIDS patients with HIV-associated dementia (HAD) compared with non-HAD patients. D386 enhances HIV entry and replication in macrophages but not in microglia or peripheral blood mononuclear cells, possibly due to differential glycosylation in these cell types. A D386N mutation in the UK1br Env, which restores the N-linked glycan site, reduced neutralization sensitivity to the IgG1b12 (b12) monoclonal antibody, which recognizes a conserved neutralization epitope that overlaps the CD4 binding site. Molecular modeling suggested that loss of the glycan at position 386 increases exposure of the CD4 and b12 binding sites on gp120. Loss of a glycan at 386 was more frequent in Envs from HAD patients (26%; n=185) compared with non-HAD patients (7%; n=99; p<0.001). The most significant association of these Env variants with HAD was in blood or lymphoid tissue rather than brain. These findings suggest that increased exposure of the b12 epitope overlapping the CD4 binding site via elimination of a glycan at position 386 is associated with enhanced HIV macrophage tropism, and provide evidence that determinants of macrophage and microglia tropism are overlapping but distinct.
Gorry PR, McPhee DA, Verity E, Dyer WB, Wesselingh SL, Learmont J, Sullivan JS, Roche M, Zaunders JJ, Gabuzda D, et al. Pathogenicity and immunogenicity of attenuated, nef-deleted HIV-1 strains in vivo. Retrovirology. 2007;4 :66.Abstract
In efforts to develop an effective vaccine, sterilizing immunity to primate lentiviruses has only been achieved by the use of live attenuated viruses carrying major deletions in nef and other accessory genes. Although live attenuated HIV vaccines are unlikely to be developed due to a myriad of safety concerns, opportunities exist to better understand the correlates of immune protection against HIV infection by studying rare cohorts of long-term survivors infected with attenuated, nef-deleted HIV strains such as the Sydney blood bank cohort (SBBC). Here, we review studies of viral evolution, pathogenicity, and immune responses to HIV infection in SBBC members. The studies show that potent, broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies and robust CD8+ T-cell responses to HIV infection were not necessary for long-term control of HIV infection in a subset of SBBC members, and were not sufficient to prevent HIV sequence evolution, augmentation of pathogenicity and eventual progression of HIV infection in another subset. However, a persistent T-helper proliferative response to HIV p24 antigen was associated with long-term control of infection. Together, these results underscore the importance of the host in the eventual outcome of infection. Thus, whilst generating an effective antibody and CD8+ T-cell response are an essential component of vaccines aimed at preventing primary HIV infection, T-helper responses may be important in the generation of an effective therapeutic vaccine aimed at blunting chronic HIV infection.
Gray L, Churchill MJ, Sterjovski J, Witlox K, Learmont JC, Sullivan JS, Wesselingh SL, Gabuzda D, Cunningham AL, McPhee DA, et al. Phenotype and envelope gene diversity of nef-deleted HIV-1 isolated from long-term survivors infected from a single source. Virol J. 2007;4 :75.Abstract
BACKGROUND: The Sydney blood bank cohort (SBBC) of long-term survivors consists of multiple individuals infected with attenuated, nef-deleted variants of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) acquired from a single source. Long-term prospective studies have demonstrated that the SBBC now comprises slow progressors (SP) as well as long-term nonprogressors (LTNP). Convergent evolution of nef sequences in SBBC SP and LTNP indicates the in vivo pathogenicity of HIV-1 in SBBC members is dictated by factors other than nef. To better understand mechanisms underlying the pathogenicity of nef-deleted HIV-1, we examined the phenotype and env sequence diversity of sequentially isolated viruses (n = 2) from 3 SBBC members. RESULTS: The viruses characterized here were isolated from two SP spanning a three or six year period during progressive HIV-1 infection (subjects D36 and C98, respectively) and from a LTNP spanning a two year period during asymptomatic, nonprogressive infection (subject C18). Both isolates from D36 were R5X4 phenotype and, compared to control HIV-1 strains, replicated to low levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). In contrast, both isolates from C98 and C18 were CCR5-restricted. Both viruses isolated from C98 replicated to barely detectable levels in PBMC, whereas both viruses isolated from C18 replicated to low levels, similar to those isolated from D36. Analysis of env by V1V2 and V3 heteroduplex tracking assay, V1V2 length polymorphisms, sequencing and phylogenetic analysis showed distinct intra- and inter-patient env evolution. CONCLUSION: Independent evolution of env despite convergent evolution of nef may contribute to the in vivo pathogenicity of nef-deleted HIV-1 in SBBC members, which may not necessarily be associated with changes in replication capacity or viral coreceptor specificity.
Verity EE, Zotos D, Wilson K, Chatfield C, Lawson VA, Dwyer DE, Cunningham A, Learmont J, Dyer W, Sullivan J, et al. Viral phenotypes and antibody responses in long-term survivors infected with attenuated human immunodeficiency virus type 1 containing deletions in the nef and long terminal repeat regions. J Virol. 2007;81 (17) :9268-78.Abstract
The Sydney Blood Bank Cohort (SBBC) consists of eight blood transfusion recipients infected with nef-attenuated human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) acquired from a single donor. Here, we show that viral phenotypes and antibody responses differ considerably between individual cohort members, despite the single source of infection. Replication of isolated virus varied from barely detectable to similar to that of the wild-type virus, and virus isolated from five SBBC members showed coreceptor usage signatures unique to each individual. Higher viral loads and stronger neutralizing antibody responses were associated with better-replicating viral strains, and detectable viral replication was essential for the development of strong and sustained humoral immune responses. Despite the presence of strong neutralizing antibodies in a number of SBBC members, disease progression was not prevented, and each cohort member studied displayed a unique outcome of infection with nef-attenuated HIV-1.
2008
Mefford ME, Gorry PR, Kunstman K, Wolinsky SM, Gabuzda D. Bioinformatic prediction programs underestimate the frequency of CXCR4 usage by R5X4 HIV type 1 in brain and other tissues. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2008;24 (9) :1215-20.Abstract
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) variants in brain primarily use CCR5 for entry into macrophages and microglia, but dual-tropic (R5X4) HIV-1 has been detected in brain and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) of some patients with HIV-associated dementia (HAD). Here, we sequenced the gp120 coding region of nine full-length dual-tropic (R5X4) env genes cloned directly from autopsy brain and spleen tissue from an AIDS patient with severe HAD. We then compiled a dataset of 30 unique clade B R5X4 Env V3 sequences from this subject and 16 additional patients (n = 4 brain and 26 lymphoid/blood) and used it to compare the ability of six bioinformatic algorithms to correctly predict CXCR4 usage in R5X4 Envs. Only one program (SVM(geno2pheno)) correctly predicted the ability of R5X4 Envs in this dataset to use CXCR4 with 90% accuracy (n = 27/30 predicted to use CXCR4). The PSSM(SINSI), Random Forest, and SVM(genomiac) programs and the commonly used charge rule correctly predicted CXCR4 usage with >50% accuracy (22/30, 16/30, 19/30, and 25/30, respectively), while the PSSM(X4R5) matrix and "11/25" rule correctly predicted CXCR4 usage in <50% of the R5X4 Envs (10/30 and 13/30, respectively). Two positions in the V3 loop (19 and 32) influenced coreceptor usage predictions of nine R5X4 Envs from patient MACS1 and a total of 12 Envs from the dataset (40% of unique V3 sequences). These results demonstrate that most predictive algorithms underestimate the frequency of R5X4 HIV-1 in brain and other tissues. SVM(geno2pheno) is the most accurate predictor of CXCR4 usage by R5X4 HIV-1.
Wang J, Shackelford JM, Selliah N, Shivers DK, O'Neill E, Garcia VJ, Muthumani K, Weiner D, Yu X-F, Gabuzda D, et al. The HIV-1 Vif protein mediates degradation of Vpr and reduces Vpr-induced cell cycle arrest. DNA Cell Biol. 2008;27 (5) :267-77.Abstract
Prior work has implicated viral protein R (Vpr) in the arrest of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected cells in the G2 phase of the cell cycle, associated with increased viral replication and host cell apoptosis. We and others have recently shown that virion infectivity factor (Vif ) also plays a role in the G2 arrest of HIV-1-infected cells. Here, we demonstrate that, paradoxically, at early time points postinfection, Vif expression blocks Vpr-mediated G2 arrest, while deletion of Vif from the HIV-1 genome leads to a marked increase in G2 arrest of infected CD4 T-cells. Consistent with this increased G2 arrest, T-cells infected with Vif-deleted HIV-1 express higher levels of Vpr protein than cells infected with wild-type virus. Further, expression of exogenous Vif inhibits the expression of Vpr, associated with a decrease in G2 arrest of both infected and transfected cells. Treatment with the proteasome inhibitor MG132 increases Vpr protein expression and G2 arrest in wild-type, but not Vif-deleted, NL4-3-infected cells, and in cells cotransfected with Vif and Vpr. In addition, Vpr coimmunoprecipitates with Vif in cotransfected cells in the presence of MG132. This suggests that inhibition of Vpr by Vif is mediated at least in part by proteasomal degradation, similar to Vif-induced degradation of APOBEC3G. Together, these data show that Vif mediates the degradation of Vpr and modulates Vpr-induced G2 arrest in HIV-1-infected T-cells.
Ancuta P, Kamat A, Kunstman KJ, Kim E-Y, Autissier P, Wurcel A, Zaman T, Stone D, Mefford M, Morgello S, et al. Microbial translocation is associated with increased monocyte activation and dementia in AIDS patients. PLoS One. 2008;3 (6) :e2516.Abstract
Elevated plasma lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an indicator of microbial translocation from the gut, is a likely cause of systemic immune activation in chronic HIV infection. LPS induces monocyte activation and trafficking into brain, which are key mechanisms in the pathogenesis of HIV-associated dementia (HAD). To determine whether high LPS levels are associated with increased monocyte activation and HAD, we obtained peripheral blood samples from AIDS patients and examined plasma LPS by Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) assay, peripheral blood monocytes by FACS, and soluble markers of monocyte activation by ELISA. Purified monocytes were isolated by FACS sorting, and HIV DNA and RNA levels were quantified by real time PCR. Circulating monocytes expressed high levels of the activation markers CD69 and HLA-DR, and harbored low levels of HIV compared to CD4(+) T-cells. High plasma LPS levels were associated with increased plasma sCD14 and LPS-binding protein (LBP) levels, and low endotoxin core antibody levels. LPS levels were higher in HAD patients compared to control groups, and were associated with HAD independently of plasma viral load and CD4 counts. LPS levels were higher in AIDS patients using intravenous heroin and/or ethanol, or with Hepatitis C virus (HCV) co-infection, compared to control groups. These results suggest a role for elevated LPS levels in driving monocyte activation in AIDS, thereby contributing to the pathogenesis of HAD, and provide evidence that cofactors linked to substance abuse and HCV co-infection influence these processes.
Loerch PM, Lu T, Dakin KA, Vann JM, Isaacs A, Geula C, Wang J, Pan Y, Gabuzda DH, Li C, et al. Evolution of the aging brain transcriptome and synaptic regulation. PLoS One. 2008;3 (10) :e3329.Abstract
Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders of aging are characterized by clinical and pathological features that are relatively specific to humans. To obtain greater insight into how brain aging has evolved, we compared age-related gene expression changes in the cortex of humans, rhesus macaques, and mice on a genome-wide scale. A small subset of gene expression changes are conserved in all three species, including robust age-dependent upregulation of the neuroprotective gene apolipoprotein D (APOD) and downregulation of the synaptic cAMP signaling gene calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CAMK4). However, analysis of gene ontology and cell type localization shows that humans and rhesus macaques have diverged from mice due to a dramatic increase in age-dependent repression of neuronal genes. Many of these age-regulated neuronal genes are associated with synaptic function. Notably, genes associated with GABA-ergic inhibitory function are robustly age-downregulated in humans but not in mice at the level of both mRNA and protein. Gene downregulation was not associated with overall neuronal or synaptic loss. Thus, repression of neuronal gene expression is a prominent and recently evolved feature of brain aging in humans and rhesus macaques that may alter neural networks and contribute to age-related cognitive changes.
2009
Dunfee RL, Thomas ER, Gabuzda D. Enhanced macrophage tropism of HIV in brain and lymphoid tissues is associated with sensitivity to the broadly neutralizing CD4 binding site antibody b12. Retrovirology. 2009;6 :69.Abstract
Macrophages in the central nervous system (CNS) and other tissues are an important cellular reservoir for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) infection, particularly in the later stages of disease. Macrophage-tropic HIV strains have an enhanced capacity to enter cells expressing low levels of CD4 through mechanisms that are not well understood. Here, we use a panel of primary HIV envelopes from brain and lymphoid tissues to examine the relationship between neutralization sensitivity to reagents targeting the CD4 binding site and virus entry into macrophages. Neutralization assays using pseudotyped viruses showed an association between the capacity of HIV to enter macrophages and increased sensitivity to the broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibody (mAb) b12, which recognizes a conserved epitope overlapping the CD4 binding site, but not sensitivity to soluble CD4 (sCD4) or b6, a non-neutralizing CD4 binding site mAb. Furthermore, loss of an N-linked glycosylation site at position 386 in the V4 region of Env enhanced macrophage tropism together with b12 sensitivity, but not neutralization by sCD4, b6, or a broadly neutralizing AIDS patient serum. These findings suggest that exposure of the b12 epitope, rather than exposure of the CD4 binding site per se, enhances HIV macrophage tropism, possibly by exposing a region on the outer domain of gp120 that is initially recognized by CD4. These findings suggest overlap between specific gp120 determinants in or near the b12 epitope and those conferring macrophage tropism.
Joseph J, Clifford D, Douglas SD, Fox H, Gendelman HE, Gonzalez-Scarano F, Grant I, Major E, McArthur J. Planning Future Strategies for Domestic and International NeuroAIDS Research, July 24-25, 2008. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2009;4 (3) :283-97.Abstract
The National Institute of Mental Health in cooperation with the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke organized a meeting on July 24-25, 2008 to develop novel research directions for neuroAIDS research. The deliberations of this meeting are outlined in this brief report. Several critical research areas in neuroAIDS were identified as areas of emphasis. Opportunities for collaborations between large NIH-funded projects were also discussed.
Pery E, Rajendran KS, Brazier AJ, Gabuzda D. Regulation of APOBEC3 proteins by a novel YXXL motif in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Vif and simian immunodeficiency virus SIVagm Vif. J Virol. 2009;83 (5) :2374-81.Abstract
The APOBEC3 cytidine deaminases are potent antiviral factors that restrict the replication of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). In HIV-1-infected CD4+ T cells, the viral accessory protein Vif binds to APOBEC3G (A3G), APOBEC3F (A3F), and APOBEC3C (A3C) and targets these proteins for polyubiquitination by forming an E3 ubiquitin ligase with cullin 5. Previous studies identified regions of HIV-1 Vif, 40YRHHY44 and 12QVDRMR17, which are important for interaction with A3G and A3F, respectively, and showed that Vif residues 54 to 71 are sufficient for A3G binding. Here, we identify 69YXXL72 as a novel conserved motif in HIV-1 Vif that mediates binding to human A3G and its subsequent degradation. Studies on other APOBEC3 proteins revealed that Tyr69 and Leu72 are important for the degradation of A3F and A3C as well. Similar to A3F, A3C regulation is also mediated by Vif residues 12QVDRMR17. Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) Vif was shown to bind and degrade African green monkey A3G (agmA3G) and, unexpectedly, human A3C. The YXXL motif of SIVagm Vif was important for the inactivation of agmA3G and human A3C. Unlike HIV-1 Vif, however, SIVagm Vif does not require Tyr40 and His43 for agmA3G degradation. Tyr69 in the YXXL motif was critical for binding of recombinant glutathione S-transferase-Vif(1-94) to A3G in vitro. These results suggest that the YXXL motif in Vif is a potential target for small-molecule inhibitors to block Vif interaction with A3G, A3F, and A3C, and thereby protect cells against HIV-1 infection.

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