Heterozygosity for the CCR5 Δ32 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 Δ32 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.
- CCR5 Δ32
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