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Journal of Virology

Year: 2008  |  Volume: 82  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 471 - 486

WFDC1/ps20 Is a Novel Innate Immunomodulatory Signature Protein of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-Permissive CD4+ CD45RO+ Memory T Cells That Promotes Infection by Upregulating CD54 Integrin Expression and Is Elevated in HIV Type 1 Infection

R. Alvarez, J. Reading, D. F. L. King, M. Hayes, P. Easterbrook, F. Farzaneh, S. Ressler, F. Yang, D. Rowley and A. Vyakarnam


Understanding why human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) preferentially infects some CD4+ CD45RO+ memory T cells has implications for antiviral immunity and pathogenesis. We report that differential expression of a novel secreted factor, ps20, previously implicated in tissue remodeling, may underlie why some CD4 T cells are preferentially targeted. We show that (i) there is a significant positive correlation between endogenous ps20 mRNA in diverse CD4 T-cell populations and in vitro infection, (ii) a ps20+ permissive cell can be made less permissive by antibody blockade- or small-interference RNA-mediated knockdown of endogenous ps20, and (iii) conversely, a ps20low cell can be more permissive by adding ps20 exogenously or engineering stable ps20 expression by retroviral transduction. ps20 expression is normally detectable in CD4 T cells after in vitro activation and interleukin-2 expansion, and such oligoclonal populations comprise ps20positive and ps20low/negative isogenic clones at an early differentiation stage (CD45RO+/CD25+/CD28+/CD57). This pattern is altered in chronic HIV infection, where ex vivo CD4+ CD45RO+ T cells express elevated ps20. ps20 promoted HIV entry via fusion and augmented CD54 integrin expression; both of these effects were reversed by anti-ps20 antibody. We therefore propose ps20 to be a novel signature of HIV-permissive CD4 T cells that promotes infection in an autocrine and paracrine manner and that HIV has coopted a fundamental role of ps20 in promoting cell adhesion for its benefit. Disrupting the ps20 pathway may therefore provide a novel anti-HIV strategy.

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