A novel role for the receptor of the complement cleavage fragment C5a, C5aR1, in CCR5-mediated entry of HIV into macrophages

Maria E. Moreno-Fernandez, Julio Aliberti, Sander Groeneweg, Jörg Köhl*, Claire A. Chougnet

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit
4 Zitate (Scopus)


The complement system is an ancient pattern recognition system that becomes activated during all stages of HIV infection. Previous studies have shown that C5a can enhance the infection of monocyte-derived macrophages and T cells indirectly through the production of interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and the attraction of dendritic cells. C5a exerts its multiple biologic functions mainly through activation of C5a receptor 1 (C5aR1). Here, we assessed the role of C5aR1 as an enhancer of CCR5-mediated HIV infection. We determined CCR5 and C5aR1 heterodimer formation in myeloid cells and the impact of C5aR1 blockade on HIV entry and genomic integration. C5aR1/CCR5 heterodimer formation was identified by immunoprecipitation and western blotting. THP-1 cells and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) were infected by R5 laboratory strains or HIV pseudotyped for the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) envelope. Levels of integrated HIV were measured by quantitative PCR after targeting of C5aR1 by a C5aR antagonist, neutralizing C5aR1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) or hC5a. C5aR1 was also silenced by specific siRNA prior to viral entry. We found that C5aR1 forms heterodimers with the HIV coreceptor CCR5 in myeloid cells. Targeting C5aR1 significantly decreased integration by R5 viruses but not by VSV-pseudotyped viruses, suggesting that C5aR1 is critical for viral entry. The level of inhibition achieved with C5aR1-blocking reagents was comparable to that of CCR5 antagonists. Mechanistically, C5aR1 targeting decreased CCR5 expression. MDM from CCR5Δ32 homozygous subjects expressed levels of C5aR1 similar to CCR5 WT individuals, suggesting that mere C5aR1 expression is not sufficient for HIV infection. HIV appeared to preferentially enter THP-1 cells expressing high levels of both C5aR1 and CCR5. Targeted reduction of C5aR1 expression in such cells reduced HIV infection by ∼50%. Our data thus suggest that C5aR1 acts as an enhancer of CCR5-mediated HIV entry into macrophages, the targeting of which may prove useful to reduce HIV infection by R5 strains.

ZeitschriftAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Seiten (von - bis)399-408
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 01.04.2016


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