C-type lectin Mermaid inhibits dendritic cell mediated HIV-1 transmission to CD4+ T cells.Virology. 2008 Sep 01; 378(2):323-8.V
Dendritic cells (DCs) are important in HIV-1 transmission; DCs capture invading HIV-1 through the interaction of the gp120 oligosaccharides with the C-type lectin DC-SIGN and migrate to the lymphoid tissues where HIV-1 is transmitted to T cells. Thus, the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120 is an attractive target to prevent interactions with DCs and subsequent viral transmission. Here, we have investigated whether the structural homologue of DC-SIGN, the nematode C-type lectin Mermaid can be used to prevent HIV-1 transmission by DCs. Our data demonstrate that Mermaid interacts with high mannose structures present on HIV-1 gp120 and thereby inhibits HIV-1 binding to DC-SIGN on DCs. Moreover, Mermaid inhibits DC-SIGN-mediated HIV-1 transmission from DC to T cells. We have identified Mermaid as a non-cytotoxic agent that shares the glycan specificity with DC-SIGN and inhibits DC-SIGN-gp120 interaction. The results are important for the anti-HIV-1 microbicide development directed at preventing DC-HIV-1 interactions.