HIV-1 Nef-mediated inhibition of T cell migration and its molecular determinants

In Woo Park, Johnny J. He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


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 [1]. 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1178
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • CXCR4
  • Chemotaxis
  • LFA-1
  • SDF-1α
  • Signal transduction


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