HIV Nef-mediated CD4 down-regulation is adaptor protein complex 2 dependent

Yong Jiu Jin, Catherine Yi Cai, Xiaoping Zhang, Hui Tang Zhang, John A. Hirst, Steven J. Burakoff

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46 Scopus citations


Nef is a crucial viral protein for HIV to replicate at high titers and in the development of AIDS. One Nef function is down-regulating CD4 from the cell surface, which correlates with Nef-enhanced viral pathogenicity. Nef down-regulates CD4 by linking CD4 to clathrin-coated pits. However, the mechanistic connection between the C-terminal dileucine motif of Nef and the component(s) of the clathrin-coated pits has not been pinpointed. In this report we used two AP-2 complex-specific inhibitors: a dominant negative mutant of Eps15 (Eps15DIII) that binds to the α subunit of AP-2 complex and a small interference RNA that is specific for the μ2 subunit of AP-2 complex. We show that both HIV Nef- and SIV Nef-mediated CD4 down-regulations were profoundly blocked by the synergistic effect of Eps15DIII and RNA interference of AP-2 expression. The results demonstrate that HIV/SIV Nef-mediated CD4 down-regulation is AP-2 dependent. We also show that the PMA-induced CD4 down-regulation was blocked by these two inhibitors. Therefore, PMA-induced CD4 down-regulation is also AP-2 dependent. The results demonstrate that, like the tyrosine sorting motif-dependent endocytosis (for which the transferrih receptor and the epidermal growth factor receptor are the two prototypes), dileucine sorting motif-dependent endocytosis of Nef and CD4 are also AP-2 dependent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3157-3164
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


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