The negative effect of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Nef on cell surface CD4 expression is not species specific and requires the cytoplasmic domain of CD4.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of virology, Volume 67, Issue 3, p.1511-6 (1993)


1993, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, Animals, Antigens, CD4, Antigens, CD8, Cell Line, Cytoplasm, DOWN-REGULATION, Gene Expression Regulation, Viral, Gene Products, nef, Genetic Vectors, HIV-1, Humans, MICE, nef Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Pan troglodytes, Protein Conformation, Recombinant Proteins, Species Specificity, Structure-Activity Relationship, Transduction, Genetic


The nef gene product of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 has been shown to induce CD4 downregulation from the surface of human cells. To determine if this effect is species specific, we used a retroviral vector to transduce the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 nef gene into murine cells expressing human, chimpanzee, or murine CD4. Our results indicate that Nef induces cell surface downregulation of all three molecules. We also determined that Nef is functional in murine T cells and induces downregulation of both murine CD4 and CD8 (Ly-2) from the cell surface. In contrast, Nef does not downregulate cell surface expression of human CD8 in either murine or human cells. By using a mutant of human CD4 lacking its cytoplasmic domain and a human CD4/CD8 chimera, we determined that the cytoplasmic domain of CD4 is required for its downregulation by Nef. Transduction with a control vector had no effect on CD4 cell surface levels, indicating that retroviral transduction by itself has no significant effect on the cell surface levels of CD4. These results show that the observed downregulation of CD4 by Nef is independent of human-specific factors, is not species specific, and requires the cytoplasmic domain of CD4.