Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) isolates vary in their ability to infect macrophages. Previous experiments have mapped viral determinants of macrophage infectivity to the V3 hypervariable region of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein. In our earlier studies, V1 and V2 sequences of HIV-1 were also shown to alter the ability of virus to spread in macrophage cultures, whereas no effect was seen in lymphocyte cultures. In the present study, determinants that allowed certain HIV-1 clones to infect and spread in macrophages were primarily mapped to the V2 region and were found to act by influencing early events of viral infection. By an assay of viral entry into macrophages, it was shown that viruses with the V2 region from the Ba-L strain of HIV-1 had >10-fold-higher entry efficiency than viruses with the V2 region derived from the NL4-3 strain. V1 region differences between these groups caused a twofold difference in entry. The known low expression of CD4 on macrophages appeared to be important in this process. In entry assays conducted with HeLa cell lines expressing various levels of CD4 and CCR5, low levels of CD4 influenced the efficiency of entry and fusion which were dependent on viral V1 and V2 envelope sequences. In contrast, no effect of V1 or V2 was seen in HeLa cells expressing high levels of CD4. Thus, the limited expression of CD4 on macrophages or other cell types could serve as a selective factor for V1 and V2 envelope sequences, and this selection could in turn influence many aspects of AIDS pathogenesis in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science