Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 9658090
J. Virol. 1998 Aug;72(8):6475-81
The feline homolog of the alpha-chemokine receptor CXCR4 has recently been shown to support cell-cell fusion mediated by CXCR4-dependent strains of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and strains of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) that have been selected for growth in the Crandell feline kidney (CrFK) cell line. In this report we demonstrate that expression of CXCR4 alone is sufficient to render cells from diverse species permissive for fusion with FIV-infected cells, suggesting that CXCR4 is the sole receptor for CrFK-tropic strains of FIV, analogous to CD4-independent strains of HIV-2. To identify the regions of CXCR4 involved in fusion mediated by FIV, we screened panels of chimeric CXCR4 molecules for the ability to support fusion with FIV-infected cells. Human CXCR4 supported fusion more efficiently than feline CXCR4 and feline/human CXCR4 chimeras, suggesting that the second and third extracellular loops of human CXCR4 contain a critical determinant for receptor function. Rat/human CXCR4 chimeras suggested that the second extracellular loop contained the principal determinant for receptor function; however, chimeras constructed between human CXCR2 and CXCR4 revealed that the first and third loops of CXCR4 contribute to the FIV Env binding site, as replacement of these domains with the corresponding domains of CXCR2 rendered the molecule nonfunctional in fusion assays. Mutation of the DRY motif and the C-terminal cytoplasmic tail of CXCR4 did not affect the ability of the molecule to support fusion, suggesting that neither signalling via G proteins nor receptor internalization was required for fusion mediated by FIV; similarly, truncation of the N terminus of CXCR4 did not affect the function of the molecule as a receptor for FIV. CXCR4-transfected feline cells were rendered permissive for infection with both the CrFK-tropic PET isolate of FIV and the CXCR4-dependent RF strain of HIV-1, and susceptibility to infection correlated well with ability to support fusion. The data suggest that the second extracellular loop of CXCR4 is the major determinant of CXCR4 usage by FIV.