Previous data revealed that primary cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were killed by apoptosis at higher rates after infection with two CRF01_AE primary isolates of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) than after infection with five other C-RF01_AE primary isolates, five subtype B primary isolates, and two subtype B laboratory strains. Here, we show evidence that mutations at the vpu gene which were exclusively identified only in the two CRF01_AE isolates mentioned above are involved in their abilities to induce massive apoptosis in primary CD4+ T lymphocytes. The rates of virus production by these two isolates in the culture media of infected PBMCs were lower (the same as those of the other CRF01_AE isolates) than those of the subtype B isolates. To confirm the correlation between the higher apoptosis-inducing abilities and the mutations at the vpu gene, infectious molecular clone pNLA-3-based vpu mutants were constructed and examined for their apoptosis induction levels. The apoptosis induction levels after introduction of the vpu mutations were greatly increased in primary CD4+ T lymphocytes. In contrast, the apoptosis induction abilities of these vpu mutants were lower in human T-cell line MT-4. Thus, the Vpu protein of HIV-1 could play a protective role against virus-induced apoptosis in primary CD4+ T lymphocytes.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Virology|
|Publication status||Published - 01-10-2003|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science