TIM-mediated inhibition of HIV-1 release is antagonized by Nef but potentiated by SERINC proteins

Minghua Li, Abdul A. Waheed, Jingyou Yu, Cong Zeng, Hui Yu Chen, Yi Min Zheng, Amin Feizpour, Björn M. Reinhard, Suryaram Gummuluru, Steven Lin, Eric O. Freed, Shan Lu Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The T cell Ig and mucin domain (TIM) proteins inhibit release of HIV-1 and other enveloped viruses by interacting with cell- and virion-associated phosphatidylserine (PS). Here, we show that the Nef proteins of HIV-1 and other lentiviruses antagonize TIM-mediated restriction. TIM-1 more potently inhibits the release of Nef-deficient relative to Nef-expressing HIV-1, and ectopic expression of Nef relieves restriction. HIV-1 Nef does not down-regulate the overall level of TIM-1 expression, but promotes its internalization from the plasma membrane and sequesters its expression in intracellular compartments. Notably, Nef mutants defective in modulating membrane protein endocytic trafficking are incapable of antagonizing TIM-mediated inhibition of HIV-1 release. Intriguingly, depletion of SERINC3 or SERINC5 proteins in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) attenuates TIM-1 restriction of HIV-1 release, in particular that of Nef-deficient viruses. In contrast, coexpression of SERINC3 or SERINC5 increases the expression of TIM-1 on the plasma membrane and potentiates TIM-mediated inhibition of HIV-1 production. Pulse-chase metabolic labeling reveals that the half-life of TIM-1 is extended by SERINC5 from <2 to ∼6 hours, suggesting that SERINC5 stabilizes the expression of TIM-1. Consistent with a role for SERINC protein in potentiating TIM-1 restriction, we find that MLV glycoGag and EIAV S2 proteins, which, like Nef, antagonize SERINC-mediated diminishment of HIV-1 infectivity, also effectively counteract TIM-mediated inhibition of HIV-1 release. Collectively, our work reveals a role of Nef in antagonizing TIM-1 and highlights the complex interplay between Nef and HIV-1 restriction by TIMs and SERINCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5705-5714
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV
  • Nef
  • TIM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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