The CD4 molecule is functionally involved in the class II MHC-restricted T cell response to Ag. CD4 is also the receptor for HIV-1, the major etiologic agent of AIDS. We have assessed whether the interaction of the HIV-1 envelope protein with the CD4 molecule might interfere with the normal function of CD4, thereby contributing to the immunosuppression observed after HIV infection. Using a murine T cell hybridoma which expresses the human CD4 protein and exhibits a CD4-dependent response to Ag, we demonstrate that the HIV envelope protein gp120 can specifically inhibit this response.

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