Strong association of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVagm) envelope glycoprotein heterodimers: possible role in receptor-mediated activation.
Soluble forms of a human cell-surface molecule expressed on T lymphocytes (CD4) neutralize diverse strains of both human (HIV) and simian (SIV) immunodeficiency viruses through the induction of envelope shedding and direct competition with cellular CD4 for virus binding. However, we have previously shown that sCD4 enhances infection of simian immunodeficiency viruses from African green monkeys (SIVagm) and have theorized that this enhancement is due to the induction of conformational changes leading to viral fusion (receptor-mediated activation). In this report, we compared the relative association of the envelope glycoproteins of SIVagm with HIV type 1 (HIV-1) in order to determine if a more stable association of SIVagm envelope glycoproteins might account for the differential effects of sCD4 on the infectious process. Monospecific antisera to each of the SIVagm glycoproteins were generated and used to detect stable heterodimers by radioimmunoprecipitation. Standard solubilization buffers containing both ionic and nonionic detergents or saturating concentrations of sCD4 failed to disrupt SIVagm gp120 interactions with the transmembrane protein, gp36, whereas HIV-1 heterodimers were easily dissociated. Higher concentrations of SDS (1%) were necessary to disrupt the SIVagm envelope complexes demonstrating the existence of strong noncovalent interactions between these membrane glycoproteins. In addition, morphometric analysis by electron microscopy revealed that the linear density of SIVagm spikes was stable and resisted shedding when virus was incubated with sCD4 whereas a significant decrease in linear spike density was noted for HIV-1. Based on our original hypothesis, the strong association of SIVagm glycoprotein spikes during soluble receptor binding may allow for highly stable conformational intermediates important for viral fusion, while neutralization of HIV-1 by sCD4 results from less stable envelope associations.
Allan, JS; Whitehead, EM; Strout, K; Short, M; Kanda, P; Hart, TK; Bugelski, PJ
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)