, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 658-675,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 26 Jul 2011

Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 Endocytic Trafficking Through Macrophage Bridging Conduits Facilitates Spread of Infection

Abstract

Bridging conduits (BC) sustain communication and homeostasis between distant tethered cells. These are also exploited commonly for direct cell-to-cell transfer of microbial agents. Conduits efficiently spread infection, effectively, at speeds faster than fluid phase exchange while shielding the microbe against otherwise effective humoral immunity. Our laboratory has sought to uncover the mechanism(s) for these events for human immunodeficiency virus type one (HIV-1) infection. Indeed, in our prior works HIV-1 Env and Gag antigen and fluorescent virus tracking were shown sequestered into endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi organelles but the outcomes for spreading viral infection remained poorly defined. Herein, we show that HIV-1 specifically traffics through endocytic compartments contained within BC and directing such macrophage-to-macrophage viral transfers. Following clathrin-dependent viral entry, HIV-1 constituents bypass degradation by differential sorting from early to Rab11+ recycling endosomes and multivesicular bodies. Virus-containing endocytic viral cargoes propelled by myosin II through BC spread to neighboring uninfected cells. Disruption of endosomal motility with cytochalasin D, nocodasole and blebbistatin diminish intercellular viral spread. These data lead us to propose that HIV-1 hijacks macrophage endocytic and cytoskeletal machineries for high-speed cell-to-cell spread.