Journal of virology

N-linked glycosylation of CXCR4 masks coreceptor function for CCR5-dependent human immunodeficiency virus type 1 isolates.

PMID 10756055


The chemokine receptors CXCR4 and CCR5 are the principal coreceptors for infection of X4 and R5 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) isolates, respectively. Here we report on the unexpected observation that the removal of the N-linked glycosylation sites in CXCR4 potentially allows the protein to serve as a universal coreceptor for both X4 and R5 laboratory-adapted and primary HIV-1 strains. We hypothesize that this alteration unmasks existing common extracellular structures reflecting a conserved three-dimensional similarity of important elements of CXCR4 and CCR5 that are involved in HIV envelope glycoprotein (Env) interaction. These results may have far-reaching implications for the differential recognition of cell type-dependent glycosylated CXCR4 by HIV-1 isolates and their evolution in vivo. They also suggest a possible explanation for the various observations of restricted virus entry in some cell types and further our understanding of the framework of elements that represent the Env-coreceptor contact sites.