Variable infectivity and conserved engagement in cell-to-cell viral transfer by HIV-1 Env from Clade B transmitted founder clones

Hongru Li, Benjamin K. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

HIV-1 transmission is usually initiated by a single viral strain called transmitted/ founder (T/F) virus. In in vitro models, HIV-1 can efficiently spread via cell-free and virological synapse (VS)-mediated cell-to-cell infection. Both modes of infection require the viral glycoprotein Envelope (Env). The efficiency with which T/F Envs initiate VS and mediate cell-to-cell infection has not been well characterized. Here we tested a panel of isogenic HIV-1 molecular clones that carry different Clade B T/F Envs. We found that despite variable infectivity among different Env clones in the two modes of infection, T/F Envs generally mediated efficient VS formation and subsequent cell-to-cell transfer. In contrast, in vitro infectivity of the T/F Env clones was more variable and strongly correlated with intrinsic fusogenicity of various Envs. We speculate that the conservation of cell-to-cell transfer by T/F Env is indicative of a biologically important function of Env.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-202
Number of pages14
JournalVirology
Volume526
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Cell-free infection
  • Cell-to-cell infection
  • Cell-to-cell transfer
  • Envelope (Env)
  • Fusogenicity
  • Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)
  • Transmitted/ founder (T/F)
  • Virological synapses (VS)

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