Cell-surface-expressed HIV-1 envelope induces the death of CD4 T cells during GP41-mediated hemifusion-like events

Julià Blanco, Jordi Barretina, Karine F. Ferri, Etienne Jacotot, Arantxa Gutiérrez, Mercedes Armand-Ugón, Cecilia Cabrera, Guido Kroemer, Bonaventura Clotet, José A. Esté

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60 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cells expressing the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein complex (gp120/gp41, Env) induce the death of target cells either after cell-to-cell fusion or after cell-to-cell contact in a fusion-independent fashion. Here, we demonstrate that Env-induced death of single cells (including primary CD4 T cells) required gp120 and gp41 function. The gp41 peptide C34, which blocked syncytium formation, completely inhibited the death of single target cells by specifically acting on gp41 function. Moreover, Env-induced single cell death was exclusively observed in CD4 cells and was associated with specific gp41-mediated transfer of lipids from the membrane of Env-expressing cells to the target cell but not with detectable cytoplasm mixing (complete fusion). We conclude that after gp120 function, gp41 mediates close cell-to-cell contacts, thereby triggering cell death in single uninfected cells in the absence of detectable cell-to-cell fusion. © 2003 Elsevier Science (USA).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-329
JournalVirology
Volume305
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2003

Keywords

  • Cell death
  • Envelope
  • Fusion
  • gp41
  • HIV

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