HIV-1 resistance to CCR5 antagonists associated with highly efficient use of CCR5 and altered tropism on primary CD4+ T cells.
We previously reported on a panel of HIV-1 clade B envelope (Env) proteins isolated from a patient treated with the CCR5 antagonist aplaviroc (APL) that were drug resistant. These Envs used the APL-bound conformation of CCR5, were cross resistant to other small-molecule CCR5 antagonists, and were isolated from the patient's pretreatment viral quasispecies as well as after therapy. We analyzed viral and host determinants of resistance and their effects on viral tropism on primary CD4(+) T cells. The V3 loop contained residues essential for viral resistance to APL, while additional mutations in gp120 and gp41 modulated the magnitude of drug resistance. However, these mutations were context dependent, being unable to confer resistance when introduced into a heterologous virus. The resistant virus displayed altered binding between gp120 and CCR5 such that the virus became critically dependent on the N' terminus of CCR5 in the presence of APL. In addition, the drug-resistant Envs studied here utilized CCR5 very efficiently: robust virus infection occurred even when very low levels of CCR5 were expressed. However, recognition of drug-bound CCR5 was less efficient, resulting in a tropism shift toward effector memory cells upon infection of primary CD4(+) T cells in the presence of APL, with relative sparing of the central memory CD4(+) T cell subset. If such a tropism shift proves to be a common feature of CCR5-antagonist-resistant viruses, then continued use of CCR5 antagonists even in the face of virologic failure could provide a relative degree of protection to the T(CM) subset of CD4(+) T cells and result in improved T cell homeostasis and immune function.
Pfaff, JM; Wilen, CB; Harrison, JE; Demarest, JF; Lee, B; Doms, RW; Tilton, JC
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