An endogenous inhibitor of human immunodeficiency virus in human lymphocytes is overcome by the viral Vif protein

N. Madani, D. Kabat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

206 Scopus citations


The vif gene of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) encodes a basic M(r) 23,000 protein that is necessary for production of infectious virions by nonpermissive cells (human lymphocytes and macrophages) but not by permissive cells such as HeLa-CD4. It had been proposed that permissive cells may contain an unidentified factor that functions like the viral Vif protein. To test this hypothesis, we produced pseudotyped wild-type and vif-deleted HIV gpt virions (which contain the HIV-1 genome with the bacterial mycophenolic acid resistance gene gpt in place of the viral env gene) in permissive cells, and we used them to generate nonpermissive H9 leukemic T cells that express these proviruses. We then fused these H9 cells with permissive HeLa cells that express the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120- gp41, and we asked whether the heterokaryons would release infectious HIV gpt virions. The results clearly showed that the vif-deleted virions released by the heterokaryons were noninfectious whereas the wild-type virions were highly infectious. This strongly suggests that nonpermissive cells, the natural targets of HIV-1, contain a potent endogenous inhibitor of HIV-1 replication that is overcome by Vif.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10251-10255
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 25 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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