HIV-1 escapes complement-mediated lysis (CML) by incorporating host regulators of complement activation (RCA) into its envelope. CD59, a key member of RCA, is incorporated into HIV-1 virions at levels that protect against CML. Since CD59 is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein (GPI-AP), we used GPI-anchor deficient Jurkat cells (Jurkat-7) that express intracellular CD59, but not surface CD59, to study the molecular mechanisms underlying CD59 incorporation into HIV-1 virions and the role of host proteins in virus replication. Compared to Jurkat cells, Jurkat-7 cells were less supportive to HIV-1 replication and more sensitive to CML. Jurkat-7 cells exhibited similar capacities of HIV-1 binding and entry to Jurkat cells, but were less supportive to viral RNA and DNA biosynthesis, as infected Jurkat-7 cells produced reduced amounts of HIV-1 RNA and DNA. HIV-1 virions produced from Jurkat-7 cells were CD59-negative, suggesting that viral particles acquire CD59, and probably other host proteins, from the cell membrane rather than intracellular compartments. As a result, CD59-negative virions were sensitive to CML. Strikingly, these virions exhibited reduced activity of virus binding and were less infectious, implicating that GPI-APs may be also important in ensuring the integrity of HIV-1 particles. Transient expression of the PIG-A gene restored CD59 expression on the surface of Jurkat-7 cells. After HIV-1 infection, the restored CD59 was colocalized with viral envelope glycoprotein gp120/gp41 within lipid rafts, which is identical to that on infected Jurkat cells. Thus, HIV-1 virions acquire RCA from the cell surface, likely lipid rafts, to escape CML and to ensure viral infectivity.
Glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchor deficiency attenuates the production of infectious HIV-1 and renders virions sensitive to complement attack.