We have previously generated a macaque-tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1mt) clone designated MN4/LSDQgtu by genetic manipulation from a parental virus that replicates poorly in rhesus macaque cells. In rhesus cell line M1.3S and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), MN4/LSDQgtu grows comparably to a standard simian immunodeficiency virus clone derived from the rhesus macaque (SIVmac239) that can induce the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the animals. In this study, we further modified the Vpr-coding region of MN4/LSDQgtu genome by introducing vpr gene of an SIV clone from the greater spot-nosed monkey (SIVgsn166) or vpx gene of SIVmac239 to generate four new clones for determining functional importance of the central genomic area. Furthermore, two clones with an additional Gag-p6 mutation were made to ensure the virion-packaging of Vpx. In addition, accessory gene mutant clones of MN4/LSDQgtu with a frame-shift mutation, including a vpr mutant, were constructed and their growth properties were examined. Infection experiments showed that newly constructed viruses all grew poorly to various degrees in M1.3S cells, relative to MN4/LSDQgtu. Together with the previous data, our results here show that vpr/vpx gene in the appropriate context of HIV-1 genome is critical for viral growth ability.
TRIM5? is a potent anti-retroviral factor that interacts with viral capsid (CA) in a species-specific manner. Recently, we and others reported generation of two distinct HIV-1 CAs that effectively overcome rhesus TRIM5?-imposed species barrier. In this study, to directly compare the effect of different mutations in the two HIV-1 CAs on evasion from macaque TRIM5-restriction, we newly generated macaque-tropic HIV-1 (HIV-1mt) proviral clones carrying the distinct CAs in the same genomic backbone, and examined their replication abilities in macaque TRIM5-overexpressing human cells and in rhesus cells. Comparative analysis of amino acid sequences and homology modeling-based structures revealed that, while both CAs gained some mutated amino acids with similar physicochemical properties, their overall appearances of N-terminal domains were different. Experimentally, the two CAs exhibited incomplete TRIM5?-resistance relative to SIVmac239 CA and different degrees of susceptibility to various TRIM5 proteins. Finally, two HIV-1mt clones carrying a different combination of the CA mutations were found to grow to a comparable extent in established and primary rhesus cells. Our data show that there could be some distinct CA patterns to confer significant TRIM5-resistance on HIV-1.
Requirement of intrinsically disordered protein Vpx for HIV-2 replication is cell-type dependent. To define Vpx-dependent conditions, replication ability of HIV-2 vpx mutants was analyzed in various cell lines that differ in cellular type, differentiation state and/or expression level of anti-HIV-1 SAMHD1 degraded by Vpx. Induction of Vpx-sensitive anti-HIV-2 state was not always associated with SAMHD1 expression. Compared with our previous data in lymphocytic cells, growth-defectiveness of the vpx mutants in differentiated THP-1 cells, a newly established multi-cycle infection system, was considerably different. Taken together, our results suggest that Vpx plays cell-type dependent role through its undetermined structure and/or function.
We previously showed that prototype macaque-tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) acquired nonsynonymous growth-enhancing mutations within a narrow genomic region during the adaptation process in macaque cells. These adaptive mutations were clustered in the 3' region of the pol gene, encoding a small portion of the C-terminal domain of integrase (IN). Mutations in HIV-1 IN have been reported to have pleiotropic effects on both the early and late phases in viral replication. cis-acting functions in the IN-coding sequence for viral gene expression have also been reported. We here demonstrated that the adaptive mutations promoted viral growth by increasing virion production with no positive effects on the early replication phase. Synonymous codon alterations in one of the adaptive mutations influenced virion production levels, which suggested nucleotide-dependent regulation. Indeed, when the single-nucleotide natural polymorphisms observed in the 3' regions of 196 HIV-1/simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVcpz) pol genes (nucleotides [nt] 4895 to 4929 for HIV-1 NL4-3) were introduced into macaque- and human-tropic HIV-1 clones, more than half exhibited altered replication potentials. Moreover, single-nucleotide mutations caused parallel increases or decreases in the expression levels of viral late proteins and viral replication potentials. We also showed that the overall expression profiles of viral mRNAs were markedly changed by single-nucleotide mutations. These results demonstrate that the 3' region of the HIV-1 pol gene (nt 4895 to 4929) can alter viral replication potential by modulating the expression pattern of viral mRNAs in a nucleotide-dependent manner.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) carries an accessory protein Vpx that is important for viral replication in natural target cells. In its C-terminal region, there is a highly conserved poly-proline motif (PPM) consisting of seven consecutive prolines, encoded in a poly-pyrimidine tract. We have previously shown that PPM is critical for Vpx expression and viral infectivity. To elucidate the molecular basis underlying this observation, we analysed the expression of Vpx proteins with various PPM mutations by in vivo and in vitro systems. We found that the number and position of consecutive prolines in PPM are important for Vpx expression, and demonstrated that PPM is essential for efficient Vpx translation. Furthermore, mutational analysis to synonymously disrupt the poly-pyrimidine tract suggested that the context of PPM amino acid sequences is required for efficient translation of Vpx. We similarly analysed HIV-1 and HIV-2 Vpr proteins structurally related to HIV-2 Vpx. Expression level of the two Vpr proteins lacking PPM was shown to be much lower relative to that of Vpx, and not meaningfully enhanced by introduction of PPM at the C terminus. Finally, we examined the Vpx of simian immunodeficiency virus from rhesus monkeys (SIVmac), which also has seven consecutive prolines, for PPM-dependent expression. A multi-substitution mutation in the PPM markedly reduced the expression level of SIVmac Vpx. Taken together, it can be concluded that the notable PPM sequence enhances the expression of Vpx proteins from viruses of the HIV-2/SIVmac group at the translational level.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication in macaque cells is restricted mainly by antiviral cellular APOBEC3, TRIM5?/TRIM5CypA, and tetherin proteins. For basic and clinical HIV-1/AIDS studies, efforts to construct macaque-tropic HIV-1 (HIV-1mt) have been made by us and others. Although rhesus macaques are commonly and successfully used as infection models, no HIV-1 derivatives suitable for in vivo rhesus research are available to date. In this study, to obtain novel HIV-1mt clones that are resistant to major restriction factors, we altered Gag and Vpu of our best HIV-1mt clone described previously. First, by sequence- and structure-guided mutagenesis, three amino acid residues in Gag-capsid (CA) (M94L/R98S/G114Q) were found to be responsible for viral growth enhancement in a macaque cell line. Results of in vitro TRIM5? susceptibility testing of HIV-1mt carrying these substitutions correlated well with the increased viral replication potential in macaque peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with different TRIM5 alleles, suggesting that the three amino acids in HIV-1mt CA are involved in the interaction with TRIM5?. Second, we replaced the transmembrane domain of Vpu of this clone with the corresponding region of simian immunodeficiency virus SIVgsn166 Vpu. The resultant clone, MN4/LSDQgtu, was able to antagonize macaque but not human tetherin, and its Vpu effectively functioned during viral replication in a macaque cell line. Notably, MN4/LSDQgtu grew comparably to SIVmac239 and much better than any of our other HIV-1mt clones in rhesus macaque PBMCs. In sum, MN4/LSDQgtu is the first HIV-1 derivative that exhibits resistance to the major restriction factors in rhesus macaque cells.
TRIM5? restricts human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in cynomolgus monkey (CM) cells. We previously reported that a TRIMCyp allele expressing TRIM5-cyclophilin A fusion protein was frequently found in CMs. Here, we examined the influence of TRIM5 gene variation on the susceptibility of CMs to a monkey-tropic HIV-1 derivative (HIV-1mt) and found that TRIMCyp homozygotes were highly susceptible to HIV-1mt not only in vitro but also in vivo. These results provide important insights into the inter-individual differences in susceptibility of macaques to HIV-1mt.
Fundamental property of viruses is to rapidly adapt themselves under changing conditions of virus replication. Using HIV-1 derivatives that poorly replicate in macaque cells as model viruses, we studied here mechanisms for promoting viral replication in non-natural host cells. We found that the HIV-1s could evolve to grow better in both macaque and human cells by the continuous culture in macaque lymphocyte cell lines. Notably, only several mutations at defined sites of the Pol-integrase and/or the Env-gp120 reproducibly appeared in repeated adaptation experiments and were sufficient to cause the phenotypic change. Meanwhile, no amino acid changes to enhance viral replication in macaque cells were found in interaction sites for the known anti-retroviral proteins. These findings disclose a hitherto unappreciated evolutionary pathway to augment HIV-1 replication in primate cells, where tuning of viral interactions with positive rather than negative factors for replication can play a dominant role.
Retroviruses can cause diseases such as AIDS, leukemia, and tumors, but are also used as vectors for human gene therapy. All retroviruses, except foamy viruses, package two copies of unspliced genomic RNA into their progeny viruses. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of retroviral genome packaging will aid the design of new anti-retroviral drugs targeting the packaging process and improve the efficacy of retroviral vectors. Retroviral genomes have to be specifically recognized by the cognate nucleocapsid domain of the Gag polyprotein from among an excess of cellular and spliced viral mRNA. Extensive virological and structural studies have revealed how retroviral genomic RNA is selectively packaged into the viral particles. The genomic area responsible for the packaging is generally located in the 5 untranslated region (5 UTR), and contains dimerization site(s). Recent studies have shown that retroviral genome packaging is modulated by structural changes of RNA at the 5 UTR accompanied by the dimerization. In this review, we focus on three representative retroviruses, Moloney murine leukemia virus, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and 2, and describe the molecular mechanism of retroviral genome packaging.
The antiretroviral factor tripartite motif protein 5 (TRIM5) gene-derived isoform (TRIMCyp) has been found in at least three species of Old World monkey: rhesus (Macaca mulatta), pig-tailed (Macaca nemestrina) and cynomolgus (Macaca fascicularis) macaques. Although the frequency of TRIMCyp has been well studied in rhesus and pig-tailed macaques, the frequency and prevalence of TRIMCyp in cynomolgus macaques remain to be definitively elucidated. Here, the geographical and genetic diversity of TRIM5?/TRIMCyp in cynomolgus macaques was studied in comparison with their anti-lentiviral activity. It was found that the frequency of TRIMCyp in a population in the Philippines was significantly higher than those in Indonesian and Malaysian populations. Major and minor haplotypes of cynomolgus macaque TRIMCyp with single nucleotide polymorphisms in the cyclophilin A domain were also found. The functional significance of the polymorphism in TRIMCyp was examined, and it was demonstrated that the major haplotype of TRIMCyp suppressed human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) but not HIV-2, whilst the minor haplotype of TRIMCyp suppressed HIV-2 but not HIV-1. The major haplotype of TRIMCyp did not restrict a monkey-tropic HIV-1 clone, NL-DT5R, which contains a capsid with the simian immunodeficiency virus-derived loop between ?-helices 4 and 5 and the entire vif gene. These results indicate that polymorphisms of TRIMCyp affect its anti-lentiviral activity. Overall, the results of this study will help our understanding of the genetic background of cynomolgus macaque TRIMCyp, as well as the host factors composing species barriers of primate lentiviruses.
Evaluation of: Belzile J-P, Abrahamyan LG, Gerard FCA et al.: Formation of mobile chromatin-associated nuclear foci containing HIV-1 Vpr and VPRBP is critical for the induction of G2 cell cycle arrest. PLoS Pathog. 6(9), E1001080 (2010). All primate immunodeficiency viruses encode a unique set of accessory proteins to optimize their replication in hosts. In general, these proteins appear to be multifunctional for virus replication. Viral protein R (Vpr), one of the accessory proteins, has also been reported to exhibit distinct activities, but its exact role in the viral life cycle is still unclear and controversial. However, of particular note, Vpr-mediated G2 cell cycle arrest is conserved among primate immunodeficiency viruses. Belzile et al. have characterized and analyzed in detail the punctuate structures on the DNA of host cells formed by HIV-1 Vpr (Vpr nuclear foci). They demonstrate, mainly by confocal immunofluorescence analysis, that highly mobile chromatin-associated Vpr nuclear foci are critical for induction of the G2 cell cycle arrest.
We have recently constructed a series of novel human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV-1s) that are tropic for a macaque cell line (mt; macaque cell-tropic) to generate and establish a primate experimental system for HIV-1/AIDS study. In order to determine biological properties of these viruses effectively, several other macaque cell lines with distinct characteristics that can be routinely and easily used, instead of primary cells, for infection experiments are required. In this study, we have examined four macaque cell lines for their surface expression of virus receptor molecules and for their genotype of a major anti-viral capsid gene. Furthermore, we monitored the susceptibility of the cell lines to a standard simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) clone and three representative basic mt HIV-1 clones. Results obtained here have clearly indicated that these cell lines are exquisitely useful to characterize various SIVs and more importantly, mt HIV-1s.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) hardly replicates in Old World monkeys. Recently, a mutant HIV-1 clone, NL-DT5R, in which a small part of gag and the entire vif gene are replaced with SIVmac239-derived ones, was shown to be able to replicate in pigtail monkeys but not in rhesus monkeys (RM). In the present study, we found that a modified monkey-tropic HIV-1 (HIV-1mt), MN4-5S, acquired the ability to replicate efficiently in cynomolgus monkeys as compared with the NL-DT5R, while neither NL-DT5R nor MN4-5S replicated in RM cells. These results suggest that multiple determinants may be involved in the restriction of HIV-1 replication in macaques, depending on the species of macaques. The new HIV-1mt clone will be useful for studying molecular mechanisms by which anti-viral host factors regulate HIV-1 replication in macaques.
We examined a series of site-directed point mutants of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Vif for their interaction with cellular anti-viral factors APOBEC3G/APOBEC3F. Mutant viruses that display growth-defect in H9 cells did not counteract effectively APOBEC3G and/or APOBEC3F without exception, as monitored by single-cycle infectivity assays. While growth-defective mutants of Vif C-terminal region were unable to suppress APOBEC3G/APOBEC3F, some N-terminal region mutants did neutralize one of APOBEC3G/APOBEC3F. These data have suggested that members of APOBEC3 family other than APOBEC3G/APOBEC3F are not important for anti-HIV-1 activity. Furthermore, APOPEC3G/APOBEC3F were found to differently associate with Vif in virions as analyzed by equilibrium density centrifugation. Taken together, these results indicated that interaction of HIV-1 Vif and APOBEC3G is distinct from that between Vif and APOBEC3F.
Primate immunodeficiency viruses encode viral proteins that are uniquely auxiliary to their growth in host cells. Of these accessory proteins, those designated Vpr and Vpx are least well understood with respect to their functions in the viral replication cycle. Moreover, their assigned roles based on the results in published studies remain controversial. This review summarises current knowledge on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Vpr/Vpx proteins, and discusses their functional activities during the viral life cycle in macrophages and T lymphocytes, the two major target cells of HIV infection.
The HIV genome encodes several accessory proteins (Vif, Vpr, Vpx, Vpu, and Nef) unique to primate lentiviruses, in addition to the structural (Gag, Pol, and Env) and regulatory (Tat and Rev) proteins. Early studies showed that deletion of accessory proteins has a small or no effect on virus replication in cell cultures. However, recent studies have clearly demonstrated that these proteins are essential for efficient viral replication, dissemination, pathogenicity, and disease progression. Here, we summarize the current knowledge of HIV accessory proteins and their cellular targets, and discuss the functional roles of these biologically unique and important viral proteins for virus replication in vitro and in vivo.
We examined various HIV-1 Vif mutants for interaction with APOBEC3 proteins (A3G/A3F). All replication-defective proviral mutants were found to carry A3G/A3F in virions, and of these, a replication-defective mutant with Vif that binds to A3G in cells but not in virions was noted. Furthermore, a mutant Vif protein that suppresses A3F activity but does not exclude A3F from virions was identified. We also showed that incorporation of Vif into virions is dependent on its interaction with A3G/A3F. Taken together, we concluded that functional binding of Vif to A3G/A3F in cells and/or virions is critical for viral infectivity.
The Nef protein of primate lentiviruses (simian and human immunodeficiency viruses; SIV/HIVs) appears to be multi-functional and plays a pivotal role in viral persistence and pathogenesis in vivo. Of its numerous functions reported to date, the ability to enhance virion infectivity in indicator cell lines and to augment viral replication in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and lymphocytes (PBLs) is very well conserved among various SIV/HIVs. This review summarizes and organizes current knowledge of HIV-1 Nef with respect to this particularly virological activity for understanding the basis of its in vivo function.
We have recently generated a monkey cell-tropic virus termed NL-DT5R from an HIV-1 NL4-3 clone and demonstrated that both cyclophilin A (CypA)-binding loop in Gag-capsid (CA) and Vif are responsible for the species-restriction of HIV-1. In this study, we constructed 16 CypA-binding loop mutants from the HIV-1-derivative NL-DT5R, and analyzed them biologically and biochemically. The mutants displayed various multi-cycle infection potencies in cynomolgus monkey (CyM) HSC-F cells, but none of them grew significantly better than NL-DT5R. Consistently, any of the HIV-1 variants examined here did not effectively counter CyM TRIM5alpha as judged by single-cycle infectivity assays. Assessment of their single-cycle infectivity in simian and CyM TRIM5alpha-expressing feline cells in the presence of cyclosporin A (CsA) showed that intervention of CypA-CA interaction did not restore full NL-DT5R infectivity, while CsA increased infectivity of DT5R/4-3 carrying the sequence of NL4-3 CypA-binding loop up to the NL-DT5R level. Almost similar data were obtained in the experiments utilizing CypA-targeting siRNA. Together with our previous results regarding NL-DT5R, these data suggested that evasion from CypA- and APOBEC-mediated restrictions is still insufficient for HIV-1 to completely overcome the species barrier.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) productively infects only humans and chimpanzees but not cynomolgus or rhesus monkeys while simian immunodeficiency virus isolated from macaque (SIVmac) readily establishes infection in those monkeys. Several HIV-1 and SIVmac chimeric viruses have been constructed in order to develop an animal model for HIV-1 infection. Construction of an HIV-1 derivative which contains sequences of a SIVmac239 loop between alpha-helices 4 and 5 (L4/5) of capsid protein (CA) and the entire SIVmac239 vif gene was previously reported. Although this chimeric virus could grow in cynomolgus monkey cells, it did so much more slowly than did SIVmac. It was also reported that intrinsic TRIM5alpha restricts the post-entry step of HIV-1 replication in rhesus and cynomolgus monkey cells, and we previously demonstrated that a single amino acid in a loop between alpha-helices 6 and 7 (L6/7) of HIV type 2 (HIV-2) CA determines the susceptibility of HIV-2 to cynomolgus monkey TRIM5alpha.
We previously generated a prototype monkey-tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) designated NL-DT5R. This viral clone has a small region of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) within Gag capsid (CA) protein and also SIV Vif protein, but displays a poor growth phenotype in simian cells. To improve the growth potential of NL-DT5R, we have constructed a series of its gag variant viruses. Out of fourteen viral clones generated, five were infectious for simian HSC-F cells, and two of the infectious variants grew similarly with NL-DT5R. Taking their genome structures into consideration, our data here clearly show that a narrow CA region within the Gag protein, i.e., the domain around cyclophilin A (CypA)-binding loop, is critical for the growth ability of HIV-1 in simian cells.
HIV-1 is strictly adapted to humans, and cause disease-inducing persistent infection only in humans. We have generated a series of macaque-tropic HIV-1 (HIV-1mt) to establish non-human primate models for basic and clinical studies. HIV-1mt clones available to date grow poorly in macaque cells relative to SIVmac239. In this study, viral adaptive mutation in macaque cells, G114E in capsid (CA) helix 6 of HIV-1mt, that enhances viral replication was identified. Computer-assisted structural analysis predicted that another Q110D mutation in CA helix 6 would also increase viral growth potential. A new proviral construct MN4Rh-3 carrying CA-Q110D exhibited exquisitely enhanced growth property specifically in macaque cells. Susceptibility of MN4Rh-3 to macaque TRIM5?/TRIMCyp proteins was examined by their expression systems. HIV-1mt clones so far constructed already completely evaded TRIMCyp restriction, and further enhancement of TRIMCyp resistance by Q110D was not observed. In addition, Q110D did not contribute to evasion from TRIM5? restriction. However, the single-cycle infectivity of MN4Rh-3 in macaque cells was enhanced relative to the other HIV-1mt clones. Our results here indicate that CA-Q110D accelerates viral growth in macaque cells irrelevant to TRIM5 proteins restriction.
Human cells respond to infection by retroviruses through the actions of proteins that inhibit the spread of viruses to other cells. One example is bone marrow stromal cell antigen 2 (BST2; also known as tetherin), which is an interferon (IFN)-inducible protein that restricts the release of progeny virions from infected cells. The HIV-1 accessory protein Vpu (viral protein U) causes degradation of BST2, and phosphorylation of Vpu at residues Ser(52) and Ser(56) is required for this function. We report that the host protein SCY1-like protein 2 (SCYL2) mediates the dephosphorylation of Vpu, antagonizing Vpu function and facilitating BST2-dependent restriction of HIV-1 release. SCYL2 reduced the number of virus particles released from cells infected with wild-type HIV-1, but not a strain lacking vpu, in a BST2-dependent manner. SCYL2 stimulated the dephosphorylation of Vpu on Ser(52) and Ser(56) by recruiting protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) to Vpu. Conversely, depletion of SCYL2 resulted in enhanced phosphorylation of Vpu and increased viral particle release. Moreover, SCYL2 was produced in response to type I IFN and contributed to IFN-mediated viral restriction. Together, these results suggest that SCYL2 serves as a regulatory factor for Vpu, reducing the extent of Vpu phosphorylation and consequently enhancing BST2-mediated viral restriction.
Both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) encode a unique set of accessory proteins that enhance viral replication in the host. Two similar accessory proteins, Vpx and Vpr, are encoded by HIV-2. In contrast, HIV-1 encodes Vpr but not Vpx. Recent studies have indicated that Vpx counteracts a particular host restriction factor, thereby facilitating reverse transcription in myeloid cells such as monocyte-derived macrophages and monocyte-derived dendritic cells. This mechanism of counteraction is similar to that of the accessory proteins Vif and Vpu which antagonize other host factors. In 2011, the protein SAMHD1 was identified as the restriction factor counteracted by Vpx. Studies have since revealed that SAMHD1 degrades deoxynucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs), which are components of viral genomic cDNA, in order to deprive viruses of dNTPs. Although interactions between SAMHD1 and Vpx continue to be a major research focus, Vpx has also been shown to have an apparent ability to enhance nuclear import of the viral genome in T lymphocytes. This review summarizes the current knowledge regarding SAMHD1-dependent and -independent functions of Vpx, and discusses possible reasons why HIV-2 encodes both Vpx and Vpr, unlike HIV-1.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is tropic and pathogenic only for humans, and does not replicate in macaque monkeys routinely used for experimental infections. This specially narrow host range (species tropism) has impeded much the progress of HIV-1/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) basic research. Extensive studies on the underlying mechanism have revealed that Vif, one of viral accessory proteins, is critical for the HIV-1 species tropism in addition to Gag-capsid protein. Another auxiliary protein Vpu also has been demonstrated to affect this HIV-1 property. In this review, we focus on functional interactions of these HIV-1 proteins and species specific-restriction factors. In addition, we describe an evolutional viewpoint that is relevant to the species tropism of HIV-1 controlled by the accessory proteins.
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