Infection with human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) results in the dissemination of virus to gut-associated lymphoid tissue. Subsequently, HIV-1 mediates massive depletion of gut CD4+ T cells, which contributes to HIV-1-induced immune dysfunction. The migration of lymphocytes to gut-associated lymphoid tissue is mediated by integrin α4β7. We demonstrate here that the HIV-1 envelope protein gp120 bound to an activated form of α4β7. This interaction was mediated by a tripeptide in the V2 loop of gp120, a peptide motif that mimics structures presented by the natural ligands of α4β7. On CD4+ T cells, engagement of α4β7 by gp120 resulted in rapid activation of LFA-1, the central integrin involved in the establishment of virological synapses, which facilitate efficient cell-to-cell spreading of HIV-1.
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We thank S. Shaw, G. Snyder, T.-W. Chun, A. Kinter and S. Moir for discussions; J.I. Mullins for providing the AN1 coding sequence; J. Weddle for figure preparation; and the National Institutes of Health AIDS Research and Reference Reagent Program for many reagents. Act-1 was provided by S. Shaw (National Cancer Institute), and NL43-SF162 was provided by R.L. Willey (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases). Supported by the National Institutes of Health (AI058894 and AI047734 to S.M.; and the Intramural Research Program).
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