Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 modified to package simian immunodeficiency virus vpx efficiently infects macrophages and dendritic cells

Nicole Sunseri, Meagan O'Brien, Nina Bhardwaj, Nathaniel R. Landau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations

Abstract

The lentiviral accessory protein Vpx is thought to facilitate the infection of macrophages and dendritic cells by counteracting an unidentified host restriction factor. Although human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) does not encode Vpx, the accessory protein can be provided to monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) and monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDC) in virus-like particles, dramatically enhancing their susceptibility to HIV-1. Vpx and the related accessory protein Vpr are packaged into virions through a virus-specific interaction with the p6 carboxy-terminal domain of Gag. We localized the minimal Vpx packaging motif of simian immunodeficiency virus SIVmac239 p6 to a 10-amino-acid motif and introduced this sequence into an infectious HIV-1 provirus. The chimeric virus packaged Vpx that was provided in trans and was substantially more infectious on MDDC and MDM than the wild-type virus. We further modified the virus by introducing the Vpx coding sequence in place of nef. The resulting virus produced Vpx and replicated efficiently in MDDC and MDM. The virus also induced a potent type I interferon response in MDDC. In a coculture system, the Vpx-containing HIV-1 was more efficiently transmitted from MDDC to T cells. These findings suggest that in vivo, Vpx may facilitate transmission of the virus from dendritic cells to T cells. In addition, the chimeric virus could be used to design dendritic cell vaccines that induce an enhanced innate immune response. This approach could also be useful in the design of lentiviral vectors that transduce these relatively resistant cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6263-6274
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume85
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

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