Genetic and Functional Analysis of Full-Length Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 env Genes Derived from Brain and Blood of Patients with AIDS

Asa Ohagen, Amy Devitt, Kevin J. Kunstman, Paul R. Gorry, Patrick P. Rose, Bette Korber, Joann Taylor, Robert Levy, Robert L. Murphy, Steven M. Wolinsky, Dana Gabuzda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations

Abstract

The genetic evolution of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in the brain is distinct from that in lymphoid tissues, indicating tissue-specific compartmentalization of the virus. Few primary HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins (Envs) from uncultured brain tissues have been biologically well characterized. In this study, we analyzed 37 full-length env genes from uncultured brain biopsy and blood samples from four patients with AIDS. Phylogenetic analysis of intrapatient sequence sets showed distinct clustering of brain relative to blood env sequences. However, no brain-specific signature sequence was identified. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in the number or positions of N-linked glycosylation sites between brain and blood env sequences. The patterns of coreceptor usage were heterogeneous, with no clear distinction between brain and blood env clones. Nine Envs used CCR5 as a coreceptor, one used CXCR4, and two used both CCR5 and CXCR4 in cell-to-cell fusion assays. Eight Envs could also use CCR3, CCR8, GPR15, STRL33, Apj, and/or GPR1, but these coreceptors did not play a major role in virus entry into microglia. Recognition of epitopes by the 2F5, T30, AG10H9, F105, 17b, and C11 monoclonal antibodies varied among env clones, reflecting genetic and conformational heterogeneity. Envs from two patients contained 28 to 32 N-glycosylation sites in gp120, compared to around 25 in lab strains and well-characterized primary isolates. These results suggest that HIV-1 Envs in brain cannot be distinguished from those in blood on the basis of coreceptor usage or the number or positions of N-glycosylation sites, indicating that other properties underlie neurotropism. The study also demonstrates characteristics of primary HIV-1 Envs from uncultured tissues and implies that Env variants that are glycosylated more extensively than lab strains and well-characterized primary isolates should be considered during development of vaccines and neutralizing antibodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12336-12345
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of virology
Volume77
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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