Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol:86 issue:9 pages:3322-6
The triphenylmethane derivative aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA), but not aurin, selectively prevented the binding of OKT4A/Leu-3a monoclonal antibody (mAb) and, to a lesser extent, OKT4 mAb to the CD4 cell receptor for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The effect was seen within 1 min at an ATA concentration of 10 microM in various T4+ cells (MT-4, U-937, peripheral blood lymphocytes, and monocytes). It was dose-dependent and reversible. ATA prevented the attachment of radiolabeled HIV-1 particles to MT-4 cells, which could be expected as the result of its specific binding to the HIV/CD4 receptor. Other HIV inhibitors such as suramin, fuchsin acid, azidothymidine, dextran sulfate, heparin, and pentosan polysulfate did not affect OKT4A/Leu-3a mAb binding to the CD4 receptor, although the sulfated polysaccharides suppressed HIV-1 adsorption to the cells at concentrations required for complete protection against HIV-1 cytopathogenicity. Thus, ATA is a selective marker molecule for the CD4 receptor. ATA also interfered with the staining of membrane-associated HIV-1 glycoprotein gp120 by a mAb against it. These unusual properties of a small molecule of nonimmunological origin may have important implications for the study of CD4/HIV/AIDS pathogenesis and possibly treatment.