The CD4 molecule serves as the principal cell surface receptor common to both the human and simian immunodeficiency viruses (HIV-1, HIV-2 and SIV). Since binding to CD4 is not sufficient to permit virus entry, HIV ‘co-receptors’ have been implicated in mediating the fusion of viral and cellular membranes necessary for completing the entry process. In order to identify candidate co-receptor molecules, a panel of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) directed against adhesion molecules was tested for the ability of the MAbs to inhibit HIV-1-induced cell fusion (syncytium formation) and HIV-1 entry. Certain antibodies directed against CD18, CD11b and CD11c inhibited HIV-1-induced syncytium formation but not entry, in agreement with previous reports. Interestingly, certain antibodies to ICAM-3 (intercellular adhesion molecule 3) (CD50) significantly inhibited HIV-1-specific entry but not syncytium formation using human SupT1 cells. Only one antibody directed against ICAM-3 significantly inhibited HIV-1-induced syncytium formation, entry and infectivity. Our results suggest that certain epitopes of ICAM-3 may be involved in mediating HIV-1-specific entry into lymphoid and monocytoid cells.


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