Effects of CCR5 and CD4 cell surface concentrations on infections by macrophagetropic isolates of human immunodeficiency virus type 1

Emily J. Platt, Kathy Wehrly, Shawn E. Kuhmann, Bruce Chesebro, David Kabat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1025 Scopus citations


It has been proposed that changes in cell surface concentrations of coreceptors may control infections by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), but the mechanisms of coreceptor function and the concentration dependencies of their activities are unknown. To study these issues and to generate stable clones of adherent cells able to efficiently titer diverse isolates of HIV-1, we generated two panels of HeLa-CD4/CCR5 cells in which individual clones express either large or small quantities of CD4 and distinct amounts of CCR5. The panels were made by transducing parental HeLa- CD4 cells with the retroviral vector SFF-CCR5. Derivative clones expressed a wide range of CCR5 quantities which were between 7.0 x 102 and 1.3 x 105 molecules/cell as measured by binding antibodies specific for CCR5 and the chemokine [125I]MIP1β. CCR5 was mobile in the membranes, as indicated by antibody-induced patching. In cells with a large amount of CD4, an unexpectedly low trace of CCR5 (between 7 x 102 and 2.0 x 103 molecules/cell) was sufficient for maximal susceptibility to all tested HIV- 1, including primary patient macrophagetropic and T-cell-tropic isolates. Indeed, the titers as indicated by immunoperoxidase staining of infected foci were as high as the tissue culture infectious doses measured in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. In contrast, cells with a small amount of CD4 required a much larger quantity of CCR5 for maximal infection by macrophagetropic HIV-1 (ca. 1.0 x 104 to 2.0 x 104 molecules/cell). Cells that expressed low and high amounts of CD4 were infected with equal efficiencies when CCR5 concentrations were above threshold levels for maximal infection. Our results suggest that the concentrations of CD4 and CCR5 required for efficient infections by macrophagetropic HIV-1 are interdependent and that the requirements for each are increased when the other component is present in a limiting amount. We conclude that CD4 and CCR5 directly or indirectly interact in a concentration-dependent manner within a pathway that is essential for infection by macrophagetropic HIV-1. In addition, our results suggest that multivalent virus-receptor bonds and diffusion in the membrane contribute to HIV-1 infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2855-2864
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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