The Journal of general virology 2016 7 01() doi 10.1099/jgv.0.000536
HIV-1 passage in cell culture in the presence of chemokine receptor antagonists can result in selection of viruses with env mutations that confer resistance to these inhibitors. In the present study, we examined the effect of HIV-1 env mutations that confer resistance to CXCR4 antagonists on Envelope (Env) sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). Serial passage of CXCR4-tropic HIV-1 NL4-3 in PM1/CCR5 cells under CXCR4 antagonists, KRH-3955, AMD3100 and AMD070 yielded two KRH-3955-resistant, one AMD3100-resistant, and one AMD070-resistant viruses. These viruses had multiple env mutations including the Env gp120 V3 region. The majority of viruses having these CXCR4 antagonist-resistant Envs showed higher sensitivity to NAbs 447-52D, b12 and 2F5 targeting the V3 region, the gp120 CD4-binding site, and the gp41 membrane proximal region, respectively compared to NL4-3 wild type virus. Recombinant NL4-3 viruses with the V3-coding region replaced with those derived from the CXCR4 antagonist-resistant viruses showed increased sensitivity to NAbs b12, 2F5 and 447-52D. Molecular dynamics simulations of Env gp120 outer domains predicted that the V3 mutations increased levels of fluctuations at the tip and stem of the V3 loop. These results indicate that mutations in the V3-coding region that result in loss of viral sensitivity to CXCR4 antagonists increase viral sensitivity to NAbs, providing insights into our understanding of the interplay of viral Env accessibility to chemokine receptors and sensitivity to NAbs.