Anti-HIV-1 activity of salivary MUC5B and MUC7 mucins from HIV patients with different CD4 counts
Background: We have previously shown that MUC5B and MUC7 mucins from saliva of HIV negative individuals inhibit HIV-1 activity by 100% in an in vitro assay. The purpose of this subsequent study was to investigate whether MUC5B and MUC7 from saliva of HIV patients or with full blown AIDS had a similar inhibitory activity against the virus. Methods Salivary MUC5B and MUC7 from HIV patients with different CD4 counts (< 200, 200-400 and > 400) were incubated with HIV-1 prior to infection of the human T lymphoblastoid cell line (CEM SS cells). Cells were then cultured and viral replication was measured by a qualitative p24 antigen assay. The size, charge and immunoreactivity of mucins from HIV negative and positive individuals was also analysed by SDS-PAGE, Western blot and ELISA respectively. Results: It was shown that irrespective of their CD4 counts both MUC5B and MUC7 from HIV patients, unlike the MUC5B and MUC7 from HIV negative individuals, did not inhibit HIV-1 activity. Size, charge and immunoreactivity differences between the mucins from HIV negative and positive individuals and among the mucins from HIV patients of different CD4 count was observed by SDS-PAGE, Western blot and ELISA. Conclusions: Purified salivary mucins from HIV positive patients do not inhibit the AIDS virus in an in vitro assay. Although the reason for the inability of mucins from infected individuals to inhibit the virus is not known, it is likely that there is an alteration of the glycosylation pattern, and therefore of charge of mucin, in HIV positive patients. The ability to inhibit the virus by aggregation by sugar chains is thus diminished.