, Volume 27, Issue 2-3, pp 261-276

HIV-1 gp120 chemokine receptor-mediated signaling in human macrophages

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The chemokine receptors CCR5 and CXCR4 serve as the cellular receptors in conjunction with CD4 for HIV-1 entry and infection of target cells. Although the virus has subverted these molecules for its own use, their natural function is to respond to activation and migration signals delivered by extracellular chemokines. A principal research objective of our laboratory is to understand the consequences of virus-chemokine receptor interactions for cellular function, as well as for entry and infection. We hypothesized that CXCR4-using (X4) and CCR5-using (R5) HIV-1 strains might elicit signals through the chemokine receptors that result in aberrant function and/or regulate virus entry or postentry steps of infection. We have focused on primary human macrophages, which express both CXCR4 and CCR5, because macrophages are a principal target for HIV-1 in vivo, in appropriate macrophage activation appears to play a major role in the pathogenesis of certain sequelae of AIDS, such as HIV encephalopathy, and macrophage infection is regulated at several steps subsequent to entry in ways that are linked to envelope-receptor interactions. This review summarizes our recent findings regarding the mechanisms of chemokine-receptor signaling in macrophages, the role of viral envelope glycoproteins in eliciting macrophage signals, and how these activation pathways may participate in macrophage infection and affect cell functions apart from infection.