Physicochemical dissociation of CD4-mediated syncytium formation and shedding of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 gp120.
The mechanism of CD4-mediated fusion via activated human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gp41 and the biological significance of soluble CD4 (sCD4)-induced shedding of gp120 are poorly understood. The purpose of these investigations was to determine whether shedding of gp120 led to fusion activation or inactivation. BJAB cells (TF228.1.16) stably expressing HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins (the gp120-gp41 complex) were used to examine the effects of pH and temperature on sCD4-induced shedding of gp120 and on cell-to-cell fusion (syncytium formation) with CD4+ SupT1 cells. sCD4-induced shedding of gp120 was maximal at pH 4.5 to 5.5 and did not occur at pH 8.5. At physiologic pH, sCD4-induced shedding of gp120 occurred at 22, 37, and 40 degrees C but neither at 16 nor 4 degrees C. In contrast, syncytia formed at pH 8.5 (maximally at pH 7.5) but not at pH 4.5 to 5.5. At pH 7.5, syncytia formed at 37 and 40 degrees C but not at 22, 16, or 4 degrees C. Preincubation of cocultures of TF228.1.16 and SupT1 cells at 4, 16, or 22 degrees C before the shift to 37 degrees C resulted in similar, increased, or decreased syncytium formation, respectively, compared with the control. Furthermore, an activated intermediate of CD4-gp120-gp41 ternary complex may form at 16 degrees C; this intermediate rapidly executes fusion upon a shift to 37 degrees C but readily decays upon a shift to the shedding-permissive but fusion-nonpermissive temperature of 22 degrees C. These physicochemical data indicate that shedding of HIV-1 gp120 is not an integral step in the fusion cascade and that CD4 may inactivate the fusion complex in a process analogous to sCD4-induced shedding of gp120.
Fu, YK; Hart, TK; Jonak, ZL; Bugelski, PJ
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