Bioinformatic analysis of neurotropic HIV envelope sequences identifies polymorphisms in the gp120 bridging sheet that increase macrophage-tropism through enhanced interactions with CCR5

Megan E. Mefford, Kevin Kunstman, Steven M. Wolinsky, Dana Gabuzda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Macrophages express low levels of the CD4 receptor compared to T-cells. Macrophage-tropic HIV strains replicating in brain of untreated patients with HIV-associated dementia (HAD) express Envs that are adapted to overcome this restriction through mechanisms that are poorly understood. Here, bioinformatic analysis of env sequence datasets together with functional studies identified polymorphisms in the β3 strand of the HIV gp120 bridging sheet that increase M-tropism. D197, which results in loss of an N-glycan located near the HIV Env trimer apex, was detected in brain in some HAD patients, while position 200 was estimated to be under positive selection. D197 and T/V200 increased fusion and infection of cells expressing low CD4 by enhancing gp120 binding to CCR5. These results identify polymorphisms in the HIV gp120 bridging sheet that overcome the restriction to macrophage infection imposed by low CD4 through enhanced gp120-CCR5 interactions, thereby promoting infection of brain and other macrophage-rich tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-222
Number of pages13
JournalVirology
Volume481
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Keywords

  • Bridging sheet
  • CCR5
  • CD4
  • Envelope
  • HIV
  • Macrophage
  • Tropism
  • V1/V2 stem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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