The Journal of biological chemistry 2017 06 28() pii 10.1074/jbc.M117.797332
The host-cell restriction factor SERINC5 potently suppresses the infectivity of HIV-1 particles and is counteracted by the viral pathogenesis factor Nef. However, the molecular mechanism by which SERINC5 restricts HIV-1 particle infectivity is still unclear. Since SERINC proteins have been suggested to facilitate the incorporation of serine during the biosynthesis of membrane lipids and because lipid composition of HIV particles is a major determinant of the particles infectious potential, we tested whether SERINC5-mediated restriction of HIV particle infectivity involves alterations of membrane lipid composition. We produced and purified HIV-1 particles from SERINC5293T cells with very low endogenous SERINC5 levels under conditions in which ectopically expressed SERINC5 restricts HIV-1 infectivity and is antagonized by Nef, and analyzed both virions and producer cells with quantitative lipid MS. SERINC5 restriction and Nef antagonism were not associated with significant alterations in steady-state lipid composition of the producer cells and HIV particles. Sphingosine metabolism kinetics were also unaltered by SERINC5 expression. Moreover, levels of phosphatidylserine (PS) at the surface of HIV-1 particles, which may trigger uptake into non-productive internalization pathways in target cells, did not change upon expression of SERINC5 or Nef. Finally, saturating the PS-binding sites on HIV target cells did not affect SERINC5 restriction or Nef antagonism. These results (i) demonstrate that the restriction of HIV-1 particle infectivity by SERINC5 does not depend on alterations in lipid composition and organization of HIV-1 particles and (ii) suggest that channeling serine into lipid biosynthesis may not be a cardinal cellular function of SERINC5.