Semen harbors amyloids that enhance human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. We set out to identify factors that bind these amyloids and to determine whether these factors modulate amyloid-mediated HIV-enhancing activity. Using biochemical and mass spectrometric approaches, we identified fibronectin as a consistent interaction partner. Although monomeric fibronectin did not enhance HIV infection, it synergistically increased the infectivity enhancement activity of the amyloids. Depletion of fibronectin decreased the enhancing activity of semen, suggesting that interfering with the binding interface between fibronectin and the amyloids could be an approach to developing a novel class of microbicides targeting the viral-enhancing activity of semen.
Keywords: HIV; SEVI; amyloid; fibronectin; semen; semenogelin.
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