Vpu-mediated tetherin antagonism of ongoing HIV-1 infection in CD4+ T-cells is not directly related to the extent of tetherin cell surface downmodulation

Björn D. Kuhl*, Richard D. Sloan, Daniel A. Donahue, Chen Liang, Mark A. Wainberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Tetherin is a host cell restriction factor that acts against HIV-1 and other enveloped viruses. The antiviral activity of tetherin is antagonized by the HIV-1 protein Vpu, that downregulates tetherin from the cell surface.Here, we report the specific detection of cell surface tetherin levels in primary activated CD4+ T-cells and in CD4+ T-cell lines. Differences were observed regarding tetherin cell surface expression, Vpu-mediated tetherin downmodulation and promotion of virus release. However, Vpu expression in all T-cell lines resulted in a 2-fold increase in numbers of infected cells after three days. This implies a Vpu-mediated effect in ongoing infection and possibly in cell-to-cell viral spread that is independent of the extent of Vpu-mediated tetherin cell surface downmodulation. Endogenous cell surface tetherin levels in T-cell lines were also downmodulated following infection with Vpu-deleted virus, suggesting an additional Vpu-independent mechanism of tetherin cell surface downmodulation following HIV-1 infection in T-cell lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-361
Number of pages9
JournalVirology
Volume417
Issue number2
Early online date14 Jul 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • CD4 T-cell
  • Cell-to-cell spread
  • HIV-1
  • Tetherin
  • Virus release
  • Vpu

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