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HIV-1 entry into cells involves formation of a complex between gp120 of the viral envelope glycoprotein (Env), a receptor (CD4), and a coreceptor. For most strains of HIV, this coreceptor is CCR5. Here, we provide evidence that CD4 is specifically associated with CCR5 in the absence of gp120 or any other receptor-specific ligand. The amount of CD4 coimmunoprecipitated with CCR5 was significantly higher than that with the other major HIV coreceptor, CXCR4, and in contrast to CXCR4 the CD4-CCR5 coimmunoprecipitation was not significantly increased by gp120. The CD4-CCR5 interaction probably takes place via the second extracellular loop of CCR5 and the first two domains of CD4. It can be inhibited by CCR5- and CD4-specific antibodies that interfere with HIV-1 infection, indicating a possible role in virus entry. These findings suggest a possible pathway of HIV-1 evolution and development of immunopathogenicity, a potential new target for antiretroviral drugs and a tool for development of vaccines based on Env-CD4-CCR5 complexes. The constitutive association of a seven-transmembrane-domain G protein-coupled receptor with another receptor also indicates new possibilities for cross-talk between cell surface receptors.


Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





7496 - 7501


3T3 Cells, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, Animals, CD4 Antigens, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cells, Cultured, HIV Envelope Protein gp120, HIV-1, Humans, Mice, Receptors, CCR5, Signal Transduction, Virus Replication