Downregulaton of cell surface molecules during noncytopathic infection of T cells with human immunodeficiency virus

M. Stevenson, X. Zhang, D. J. Volsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Noncytopathic infection of human T-lymphoid cell line CR-10 with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (CEM-N1T isolate) resulted in a gradual loss of cell surface receptors for OKT4/OKT4A (HIV receptor), OKT8, OKT3, and OKT11 but not for OKT9 (transferrin receptor) within 10 days after infection. Surface receptor decline was accompanied by a rapid increase in HIV antigens and mRNA expression. Multireceptor downregulation was also observed in three T-lymphoid cell lines (MT-4, CEM, and HBD-1) cytopathically infected with the HIV/N1T virus and in HUT-78 cells infected with the HIV/SF-2 isolate. HIV-infected and uninfected CR-10 cells contained similar levels of mRNAs coding for T3, T8, T9, T11, HLA-A2, and HLA-B7 proteins. By densitometry, fully infected CR-10 cells showed approximately 75% reduction in T4 and tubulin (β chain) mRNA levels when compared with uninfected CR-10 cells. No such reduction was detected in HIV-infected MT-4 and HBD-1 cells. A T-cell receptor gene (β chain) rearrangement study revealed that no distinct CR-10 subpopulation was selected out upon infection with HIV. Our results suggest that the reduction in cell surface receptors observed between 1 and 2 weeks postinfection cannot be directly attributed to similar reduction in mRNA levels coding for these receptor proteins. We conclude that HIV infection induces posttranscriptional downregulation of several T-cell surface receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3741-3748
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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