Author(s): Page KA, Landau NR, Littman DR
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Abstract We constructed a recombinant human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vector to facilitate studies of virus infectivity. A drug resistance gene was inserted into a gp160- HIV proviral genome such that it could be packaged into HIV virions. The HIV genome was rendered replication defective by deletion of sequences encoding gp160 and insertion of a gpt gene with a simian virus 40 promoter at the deletion site. Cotransfection of the envelope-deficient genome with a gp160 expression vector resulted in packaging of the defective HIV-gpt genome into infectious virions. The drug resistance gene was transmitted and expressed upon infection of susceptible cells, enabling their selection in mycophenolic acid. This system provides a quantitative measure of HIV infection, since each successful infection event leads to the growth of a drug-resistant colony. The HIV-gpt virus produced was tropic for CD4+ human cells and was blocked by soluble CD4. In the absence of gp160, noninfectious HIV particles were efficiently produced by cells transfected with the HIV-gpt genome. These particles packaged HIV genomic RNA and migrated to the same density as gp160-containing virions in a sucrose gradient. This demonstrates that HIV virion formation is not dependent on the presence of a viral envelope glycoprotein. Expression of a murine leukemia virus amphotropic envelope gene in cells transfected with HIV-gpt resulted in the production of virus capable of infecting both human and murine cells. These results indicate that HIV can incorporate envelope glycoproteins other than gp160 onto particles and that this can lead to altered host range. Like HIV type 1 and vesicular stomatitis virus(HIV) pseudotypes, gp-160+ HIV-gpt did not infect murine NIH 3T3 cells that bear human CD4, confirming that these cells are blocked at an early stage of HIV infection.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access