Differential Control of BST2 Restriction and Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Antiviral Response by Antagonists Encoded by HIV-1 Group M and O Strains.

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Journal of virology, ISSN: 1098-5514, Vol: 90, Issue: 22, Page: 10236-10246

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Mariana G. Bego; Lijun Cong; Katharina Mack; Frank Kirchhoff; Éric A. Cohen; G. Silvestri
American Society for Microbiology
Immunology and Microbiology; Agricultural and Biological Sciences
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article description
BST2/tetherin is a type I interferon (IFN-I)-stimulated host factor that restricts the release of HIV-1 by entrapping budding virions at the cell surface. This membrane-associated protein can also engage and activate the plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC)-specific immunoglobulin-like transcript 7 (ILT7) inhibitory receptor to downregulate the IFN-I response by pDCs. Pandemic HIV-1 group M uses Vpu (M-Vpu) to counteract the two BST2 isoforms (long and short) that are expressed in human cells. M-Vpu efficiently downregulates surface long BST2, while it displaces short BST2 molecules away from viral assembly sites. We recently found that this attribute is used by M-Vpu to activate the BST2/ILT7-dependent negative-feedback pathway and to suppress pDC IFN-I responses during sensing of infected cells. However, whether this property is conserved in endemic HIV-1 group O, which has evolved Nef (O-Nef) to counteract specifically the long BST2 isoform, remains unknown. In the present study, we validated that O-Nefs have the capacity to downregulate surface BST2 and enhance HIV-1 particle release although less efficiently than M-Vpu. In contrast to M-Vpu, O-Nef did not efficiently enhance viral spread in T cell culture or displace short BST2 from viral assembly sites to prevent its occlusion by tethered HIV-1 particles. Consequently, O-Nef impairs the ability of BST2 to activate negative ILT7 signaling to suppress the IFN-I response by pDC-containing peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) during sensing of infected cells. These distinctive features of BST2 counteraction by O-Nefs may in part explain the limited spread of HIV-1 group O in the human population.