Recognition of HIV glycoprotein gp120 by T cells. Role of monocyte CD4 in the presentation of gp120

R. F. Siliciano, C. Knall, T. Lawton, P. Berman, T. Gregory, E. L. Reinherz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The HIV envelope glycoprotein gp120 binds with high affinity to CD4 and is reponsible for the tropism of HIV for CD4+ T cells and monocytes. Efforts to develop HIV vaccines have focused on gp120 and, therefore, a detailed molecular understanding of human immune response to gp120 is essential. In this report, we have used human T cell clones specific for gp120 to examine the processing and presentation of gp120 to T cells. In particular, we examined the role of the CD4 that is expressed at low levels on the surfaces of human monocytes in the presentation of gp120 by monocytes. The presentation of gp120 to gp120-specific human T cell clones was blocked by pretreatment of monocytes with anti-CD4 mAb. Blocking of monocyte CD4 with anti-CD4 did not inhibit presentation of other Ag or of synthetic peptides representing epitopes within gp120 recognized by gp120-specific T cell clones. These results indicated that the anti-CD4-mediated inhibition occurred at the level of the monocyte, was specific for the gp120 response, and was operative at the initial Ag uptake phase of the Ag-processing pathway. Definitive confirmation that monocyte CD4 functions in the initial uptake step of the gp120-processing pathway was obtained by using soluble CD4 to block the interaction of gp120 with monocyte CD4. These results demonstrate that gp120 expressed by human monocytes plays an important role in the initial uptake of gp120 by monocytes and that gp120 taken up via CD4 is subsequently processed to allow for exposures of epitopes recognized by gp120-specific human T cells. At limiting gp120 concentrations, uptake via CD4 is essential for the presentation of gp120.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1506-1511
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Recognition of HIV glycoprotein gp120 by T cells. Role of monocyte CD4 in the presentation of gp120'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this