Chemokine receptors as fusion cofactors for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)

Immunol Res. 1997 Feb;16(1):15-28. doi: 10.1007/BF02786321.


CD4 is the primary cellular receptor for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), but is not sufficient for entry of HIV-1 into cells. After a decade-long search, the cellular coreceptors that HIV-1 requires in conjunction with CD4 have been identified as members of the chemokine receptor family of seven-transmembrane G-protein coupled receptors. The discovery of distinct chemokine receptors that support entry of T-cell tropic (CXCR-4) and macrophage tropic HIV-1 strains (CCR-5) explains the differences in cell tropism between viral strains, the inability of HIV-1 to infect most nonprimate cells, and the resistance of a small percentage of the population to HIV-1 infection. Further understanding of the role of chemokine receptors in viral entry may also help explain the evolution of more pathogenic forms of the virus, viral transmission, and HIV-induced pathogenesis. These recent discoveries will aid the development of strategies for combating HIV-1 transmission and spread, the understanding of HIV-1 fusion mechanisms, and the possible development of small animal models for HIV-1 drug and vaccine testing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • CD4 Antigens
  • Chemokines / immunology
  • Chemokines / physiology*
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • HIV-1 / pathogenicity
  • Humans
  • Membrane Fusion*
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / immunology
  • Receptors, CCR5
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • Receptors, Cytokine / physiology*
  • Receptors, HIV / physiology*


  • CD4 Antigens
  • Chemokines
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, CCR5
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • Receptors, Cytokine
  • Receptors, HIV