The leukotriene B4 receptor functions as a novel type of coreceptor mediating entry of primary HIV-1 isolates into CD4-positive cells

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The recently cloned human chemoattractant receptor-like (CMKRL)1, which is expressed in vivo in CD4-positive immune cells, has structural homology with the two chemokine receptors C-C chemokine receptor (CCR)5 and C-X-C chemokine receptor (CXCR)4, which serve as the major coreceptors necessary for fusion of the HIV-1 envelope with target cells. In view of the structural similarity, CMKRL1 was tested for its possible function as another HIV-1 coreceptor after stable expression in murine fibroblasts bearing the human CD4 receptor. The cells were infected with 10 primary clinical isolates of HIV-1, and entry was monitored by semiquantitative PCR of viral DNA. The efficiency of the entry was compared with the entry taking place in CD4-positive cells expressing either CCR5 or CXCR4. Seven of the isolates used CMKRL1 for viral entry; they were mainly of the syncytium-inducing phenotype and also used CXCR4. Entry efficiency was higher with CMKRL1 than with CXCR4 for more than half of these isolates. Three of the ten isolates did not use CMKRL1; instead, entry was mediated by both CCR5 and CXCR4. The experiments thus indicate that CMKRL1 functions as a coreceptor for the entry of HIV-1 into CD4-positive cells. In the course of this study, leukotriene B4 was shown to be the natural ligand for this receptor (now designated BLTR), which therefore represents a novel type of HIV-1 coreceptor along with the previously identified chemokine receptors. BLTR belongs to the same general chemoattractant receptor family as the chemokine receptors but is structurally more distant from them than are any of the previously described HIV-1 coreceptors.


  • Christer Owman
  • A Garzino-Demo
  • F Cocchi
  • M Popovic
  • Alan Sabirsh
  • R C Gallo
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9530-9534
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Publication categoryResearch