HIV-1 Entry Cofactor: Functional cDNA Cloning of a Seven-Transmembrane, G Protein-Coupled Receptor

Science  10 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5263, pp. 872-877
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5263.872


A cofactor for HIV-1 (human immunodeficiency virus-type 1) fusion and entry was identified with the use of a novel functional complementary DNA (cDNA) cloning strategy. This protein, designated “fusin,” is a putative G protein-coupled receptor with seven transmembrane segments. Recombinant fusin enabled CD4-expressing nonhuman cell types to support HIV-1 Env-mediated cell fusion and HIV-1 infection. Antibodies to fusin blocked cell fusion and infection with normal CD4-positive human target cells. Fusin messenger RNA levels correlated with HIV-1 permissiveness in diverse human cell types. Fusin acted preferentially for T cell line-tropic isolates, in comparison to its activity with macrophage-tropic HIV-1 isolates.

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