Cell-dependent mechanisms restrict the HIV type 1 coreceptor activity of US28, a chemokine receptor homolog encoded by human cytomegalovirus

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2000 Jan 1;16(1):27-35. doi: 10.1089/088922200309575.


Several members of the chemokine receptor family are used together with CD4 for HIV-1 entry into target cells. The human cytomegalovirus US28 gene encodes a chemokine receptor homolog that has been reported to function as an HIV-1 coreceptor. However, studies of US28 have given conflicting results regarding its ability to mediate HIV-1 entry. We examined the ability of US28 to function as an HIV-1 coreceptor in various cell lines and found that its coreceptor activity is highly cell dependent. US28 could function as a coreceptor for HIV-1 entry in HeLa and U87 cells but not in COS-1 and Cf2Th cells. In COS-1 cells, US28 was expressed on the cell surface and could mediate cell-cell fusion with HIV-1 Env-expressing cells, suggesting that the block to infection may result from a defect in virus internalization or postentry steps. In Cf2Th cells, US28 was expressed at high levels intracellularly but was not transported to the cell surface. The block in US28 coreceptor function in COS-1 and Cf2Th cells was coreceptor dependent, since CCR5, CXCR4, and other coreceptors can mediate HIV-1 entry in these cell lines. HIV-1 viruses pseudotyped with the MuLV or VSV Env entered and replicated at similar efficiency in COS-1 and U87 cells in single-cycle infections, suggesting that postentry and other early events in the HIV-1 life cycle are not intrinsically inefficient in COS-1 cells. These results identify two distinct mechanisms that can restrict the HIV-1 coreceptor activity of US28 in a cell- and coreceptor-dependent manner, and help to explain the existing controversy regarding the ability of US28 to mediate HIV-1 entry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COS Cells
  • Cell Fusion
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cytomegalovirus / genetics
  • HIV-1 / metabolism*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Fluid / metabolism
  • Receptors, CCR2
  • Receptors, Chemokine / genetics
  • Receptors, Chemokine / metabolism*
  • Receptors, HIV / genetics
  • Receptors, HIV / metabolism*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • CCR2 protein, human
  • Receptors, CCR2
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Receptors, HIV