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The CC-Chemokine RANTES Increases the Attachment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 to Target Cells via Glycosaminoglycans and Also Activates a Signal Transduction Pathway That Enhances Viral Infectivity

American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
  • Virus-Cell Interactions


We have studied the mechanisms by which the CC-chemokine RANTES can enhance the infectivities of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and other enveloped viruses, when present at concentrations in excess of 500 ng/ml in vitro. Understanding the underlying mechanisms might throw light on fundamental processes of viral infection, in particular for HIV-1. Our principal findings are twofold: firstly, that oligomers of RANTES can cross-link enveloped viruses, including HIV-1, to cells via glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) present on the membranes of both virions and cells; secondly, that oligomers of RANTES interact with cell-surface GAGs to transduce a herbimycin A-sensitive signal which, over a period of several hours, renders the cells more permissive to infection by several viruses, including HIV-1. The enhancement mechanisms require that RANTES oligomerize either in solution or following binding to GAGs, since no viral infectivity enhancement is observed with a mutant form of the RANTES molecule that contains a single-amino-acid change (glutamic acid to serine at position 66) which abrogates oligomerization.

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