Publications & Reports

Enhanced CD4+ cellular apoptosis by CCR5-restricted HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein variants from patients with progressive HIV-1 infection.

Wade J, Sterjovski J, Gray L, Roche M, Chiavaroli L, Ellett A, Jakobsen MR, Cowley D, da Fonseca Pereira C, Saksena N, Wang B, Purcell DF, Karlsson I, Fenyo EM, Churchill M, Gorry PR
Center for Virology, Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


CCR5-using (R5) human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) strains cause CD4+ T-cell loss in most infected individuals, but mechanisms underlying cytopathicity of R5 viruses are poorly understood. We investigated mechanisms contributing to R5 envelope glycoprotein (Env)-mediated cellular apoptosis by constructing a panel of retroviral vectors engineered to co-express GFP and R5 Envs derived from two HIV-1-infected subjects spanning asymptomatic (Early, E-R5 Envs) to late stages of infection (Late, L-R5 Envs). The L-R5 Envs induced significantly more cellular apoptosis than E-R5 Envs, but only in Env-expressing (GFP-positive) cells, and only in cells where CD4 and CCR5 levels were limiting. Studies with fusion-defective Env mutants showed induction of apoptosis required membrane-fusing events. Our results provide evidence for an intracellular mechanism of R5 Env-induced apoptosis of CD4+ cells that requires membrane fusion. Furthermore, they contribute to a better understanding of mechanisms involved in CD4+ T-cell loss in subjects experiencing progressive R5 HIV-1 infection.


  • Journal: Virology
  • Published: 20/01/2010
  • Volume: 396
  • Issue: 2
  • Pagination: 246-255

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