Intracellular distribution of the envelope glycoprotein of human immunodeficiency virus and its role in the production of cytopathic effect in CD4+ and CD4- human cell lines

Y. Koga, M. Sasaki, K. Nakamura, G. Kimura, K. Nomoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)


Human CD4+ and CD4- monocytoid cell lines were transfected with a constructed plasmid that has the envelope gene of human immunodeficiency virus under the transcriptional control of human metallothionein IIA promoter; the transfected cells were then cloned. These CD4+ and CD4- transfectant cell clones, both of which expressed almost the same amount of gp160 after induction with metal ions, were used for ultrastructural analysis of the distribution of the envelope glycoprotein in the cytoplasm. Immunofluorescence microscopy with an anti-envelope glycoprotein monoclonal antibody showed localized distribution of gp160 in the CD4+ cell clone and diffuse distribution of gp160 in the CD4- cell clone. These observations were substantiated by immunoelectron microscopy, in which the aggregated form of gp160 was observed in the cytoplasm of CD4+ cells but was scarce in that of CD4- cells. A notable finding was that the sites corresponding to the nuclear pores were occupied with aggregates of gp160 in CD4+ cells, exhibiting cytopathic effect. Both freeze-fracture and transmission electron microscopy also showed abnormal morphology around the nuclear pores and perinuclear space. These results support the possibility that such gp160 complexes accumulated around the nuclear pores primarily disturb the transportation of many molecules between the nucleus and the cytoplasm, resulting in a cytopathic effect in the CD4+ cell clone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4661-4671
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1990


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

Cite this