Lymphocyte trafficking is a multistep, intricate process and involves a number of host factors such as integrins and chemokine receptors on lymphocytes, adhesion molecules on endothelial cells, and chemokines present in the local microenvironment. Previous studies have shown that HIV-1 Nef inhibits T cell chemotaxis in response to the physiological ligand SDF-1α . In this study, we aimed to gain a better understanding of the inhibitory mechanisms and to define the molecular determinants of HIV-1 Nef for this phenotype. We showed that HIV-1 Nef inhibited transwell and transendothelial migration of T cells. Specifically, HIV-1 Nef protein impaired T cell chemotaxis toward SDF-1α without altering CXCR4 expression. Moreover, we showed that HIV-1 Nef protein down-modulated LFA-1 expression on T lymphocytes and diminished adhesion and polarization of T lymphocytes and as a result, led to decreased migration across the endothelium. Furthermore, we showed that the myristoylation site and ΔSD domain played important roles in Nef-mediated inhibition of transwell and transendothelial migration and polarization of T lymphocytes; however, different sites or domains were needed for Nef-mediated LFA-1 down-modulation and impaired adhesion of T lymphocyte. Taken together, these results demonstrated that HIV-1 Nef inhibited T lymphocyte migration at multiple steps and suggest that membrane localization and intracellular signaling events likely contribute to the inhibitory effects of Nef on T cell migration and subsequently, the pathobiology of the HIV-1 Nef protein.
- Signal transduction