We have recently demonstrated that the binding subunit (B-oligomer) of pertussis toxin (PTX-B) deactivates CCR5 and inhibits entry of R5 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) strains in activated primary T lymphocytes (M. Alfano et al., J. Exp. Med. 190:597-605, 1999). We now present evidence that PTX-B also affects a postentry step of HIV-1 replication. While PTX-B inhibited fusion induced by R5 but not that induced by X4 envelopes, it blocked infection of T cells with recombinant HIV-1 particles pseudotyped with R5, X4, and even murine leukemia virus or vesicular stomatitis virus envelopes. It also suppressed HIV-1 RNA synthesis in cultures of infected peripheral blood mononuclear cells when new infections had been inhibited by zidoudine, and it reduced Tat-dependent expression of the luciferase reporter gene controlled by the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR). Surprisingly, PTX-B did not affect expression from the cytomegalovirus promoter, nor did it reduce the basal (Tat-independent) expression from the LTR promoter. These results indicate that PTX-B inhibits HIV-1 infection at both the entry and the postentry stages of viral replication, with the postentry activity specifically affecting transcription or stability of Tat-stimulated HIV-1 mRNAs.
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