The scaffolding protein Na(+) /H(+) exchanger regulator factor 1 (NHERF1) plays an important role in the trafficking of G protein-coupled receptors. We previously demonstrated that NHERF1 is involved in chemokine receptor CCR5 homodimer internalization and signal transduction. Given the importance of CCR5 internalization during HIV-1 infection, we evaluated NHERF1's contribution in HIV-1 infection. We challenged human osteosarcoma cells coexpressing CD4 and CCR5 cells expressing either NHERF1 fragment domains or WT NHERF1 with an HIV-1 strain to examine the effects of NHERF1 on HIV-1 entry and replication. WT NHERF1 potentiates HIV-1 envelope gp120-induced CCR5 internalization, and promotes the replication of HIV-1. In order to better understand how NHERF1 affects signal transduction, different domains of NHERF1 were overexpressed in cells to analyze their effect on the different signaling pathways. Here, we show that NHERF1 can associate with CCR5, and promote activation of the gp120-induced MAPK/ERK, focal adhesion kinase and RhoA (Ras homolog gene family member A) signaling pathways. NHERF1 overexpression also increases HIV-1 host cell migration triggered by gp120 via focal adhesion kinase (FAK) signaling. Finally, NHERF1 enhanced actin filament rearrangement in host cells, an important step in post-entry HIV-1 replication events. While postsynaptic density 95/disk-large/zonula occludens 2 (PDZ2) appears to be the major contributor in those events, other domains also participate in the regulation of gp120-induced signaling pathways. Altogether, our results suggest a very important role of the scaffold NHERF1 in the regulation of HIV-1 entry and replication.
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