NF-kappaB p50 promotes HIV latency through HDAC recruitment and repression of transcriptional initiation.
ABSTRACT: Cells latently infected with HIV represent a currently insurmountable barrier to viral eradication in infected patients. Using the J-Lat human T-cell model of HIV latency, we have investigated the role of host factor binding to the kappaB enhancer elements of the HIV long terminal repeat (LTR) in the maintenance of viral latency. We show that NF-kappaB p50-HDAC1 complexes constitutively bind the latent HIV LTR and induce histone deacetylation and repressive changes in chromatin structure of the HIV LTR, changes that impair recruitment of RNA polymerase II and transcriptional initiation. Knockdown of p50 expression with specific small hairpin RNAs reduces HDAC1 binding to the latent HIV LTR and induces RNA polymerase II recruitment. Similarly, inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity with trichostatin A promotes binding of RNA polymerase II to the latent HIV LTR. This bound polymerase complex, however, remains non-processive, generating only short viral transcripts. Synthesis of full-length viral transcripts can be rescued under these conditions by expression of Tat. The combination of HDAC inhibitors and Tat merits consideration as a new strategy for purging latent HIV proviruses from their cellular reservoirs.
Project description:Deacetylation of histone proteins at the HIV type 1 (HIV-1) long terminal repeat (LTR) by histone deactylases (HDACs) can promote transcriptional repression and virus latency. As such, HDAC inhibitors (HDACI) could be used to deplete reservoirs of persistent, quiescent HIV-1 proviral infection. However, the development of HDACI to purge latent HIV-1 requires knowledge of the HDAC isoforms contributing to viral latency and the development of inhibitors specific to these isoforms. In this study, we identify the HDACs responsible for HIV-1 latency in Jurkat J89GFP cells using a chemical approach that correlates HDACI isoform specificity with their ability to reactivate latent HIV-1 expression. We demonstrate that potent inhibition or knockdown of HDAC1, an HDAC isoform reported to drive HIV-1 into latency, was not sufficient to de-repress the viral LTR. Instead, we found that inhibition of HDAC3 was necessary to activate latent HIV-1. Consistent with this finding, we identified HDAC3 at the HIV-1 LTR by chromatin immunoprecipitation. Interestingly, we show that valproic acid is a weak inhibitor of HDAC3 (IC(50) = 5.5 mm) relative to HDAC1 (IC(50) = 170 ?m). Because the total therapeutic concentration of valproic acid ranges from 275 to 700 ?m in adults, these data may explain why this inhibitor has no effect on the decay of latent HIV reservoirs in patients. Taken together, our study suggests an important role for HDAC3 in HIV-1 latency and, importantly, describes a chemical approach that can readily be used to identify the HDAC isoforms that contribute to HIV-1 latency in other cell types.
Project description:The activation and latency of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) are tightly controlled by the transcriptional activity of its long terminal repeat (LTR) region. The LTR is regulated by viral proteins as well as host factors, including the nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) that becomes activated in virus-infected cells. The two tandem NF-kappaB sites of the LTR are among the most highly conserved sequence elements of the HIV-1 genome. Puzzlingly, these sites are arranged in a manner that seems to preclude simultaneous binding of both sites by NF-kappaB, although previous biochemical work suggests otherwise. Here, we have determined the crystal structure of p50:RelA bound to the tandem kappaB element of the HIV-1 LTR as a dimeric dimer, providing direct structural evidence that NF-kappaB can occupy both sites simultaneously. The two p50:RelA dimers bind the adjacent kappaB sites and interact through a protein contact that is accommodated by DNA bending. The two dimers clamp DNA from opposite faces of the double helix and form a topological trap of the bound DNA. Consistent with these structural features, our biochemical analyses indicate that p50:RelA binds the HIV-1 LTR tandem kappaB sites with an apparent anti-cooperativity but enhanced kinetic stability. The slow on and off rates we observe may be relevant to viral latency because viral activation requires sustained NF-kappaB activation. Furthermore, our work demonstrates that the specific arrangement of the two kappaB sites on the HIV-1 LTR can modulate the assembly kinetics of the higher-order NF-kappaB complex on the viral promoter. This phenomenon is unlikely restricted to the HIV-1 LTR but probably represents a general mechanism for the function of composite DNA elements in transcription.
Project description:Mechanisms underlying HIV-1 latency remain among the most crucial questions that need to be answered to adopt strategies for purging the latent viral reservoirs. Here we show that HIV-1 accessory protein Vpr induces depletion of class I HDACs, including HDAC1, 2, 3, and 8, to overcome latency in macrophages. We found that Vpr binds and depletes chromatin-associated class I HDACs through a VprBP-dependent mechanism, with HDAC3 as the most affected class I HDAC. De novo expression of Vpr in infected macrophages induced depletion of HDAC1 and 3 on the HIV-1 LTR that was associated with hyperacetylation of histones on the HIV-1 LTR. As a result of hyperacetylation of histones on HIV-1 promotor, the virus established an active promotor and this contributed to the acute infection of macrophages. Collectively, HIV-1 Vpr down-regulates class I HDACs on chromatin to counteract latent infections of macrophages.
Project description:The HIV promoter within the viral long terminal repeat (LTR) orchestrates many aspects of the viral life cycle, from the dynamics of viral gene expression and replication to the establishment of a latent state. In particular, after viral integration into the host genome, stochastic fluctuations in viral gene expression amplified by the Tat positive feedback loop can contribute to the formation of either a productive, transactivated state or an inactive state. In a significant fraction of cells harboring an integrated copy of the HIV-1 model provirus (LTR-GFP-IRES-Tat), this bimodal gene expression profile is dynamic, as cells spontaneously and continuously flip between active (Bright) and inactive (Off) expression modes. Furthermore, these switching dynamics may contribute to the establishment and maintenance of proviral latency, because after viral integration long delays in gene expression can occur before viral transactivation. The HIV-1 promoter contains cis-acting Sp1 and NF-kappaB elements that regulate gene expression via the recruitment of both activating and repressing complexes. We hypothesized that interplay in the recruitment of such positive and negative factors could modulate the stability of the Bright and Off modes and thereby alter the sensitivity of viral gene expression to stochastic fluctuations in the Tat feedback loop. Using model lentivirus variants with mutations introduced in the Sp1 and NF-kappaB elements, we employed flow cytometry, mRNA quantification, pharmacological perturbations, and chromatin immunoprecipitation to reveal significant functional differences in contributions of each site to viral gene regulation. Specifically, the Sp1 sites apparently stabilize both the Bright and the Off states, such that their mutation promotes noisy gene expression and reduction in the regulation of histone acetylation and deacetylation. Furthermore, the NF-kappaB sites exhibit distinct properties, with kappaB site I serving a stronger activating role than kappaB site II. Moreover, Sp1 site III plays a particularly important role in the recruitment of both p300 and RelA to the promoter. Finally, analysis of 362 clonal cell populations infected with the viral variants revealed that mutations in any of the Sp1 sites yield a 6-fold higher frequency of clonal bifurcation compared to that of the wild-type promoter. Thus, each Sp1 and NF-kappaB site differentially contributes to the regulation of viral gene expression, and Sp1 sites functionally "dampen" transcriptional noise and thereby modulate the frequency and maintenance of this model of viral latency. These results may have biomedical implications for the treatment of HIV latency.
Project description:HIV-1 Tat is essential for HIV-1 replication and plays an important role in latent HIV-1 infection, HIV-1 associated neurological complication, and other HIV-1 comorbidities. Secreted from HIV-1 infected or transfected cells, Tat can be up-taken into cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis and internalized into endolysosomes. To reach nucleus where it can facilitate HIV-1 viral replication, exogenous Tat has to escape the degradation by endolysosomes. Because of findings that endolysosome de-acidification with, for example, the weak-base anti-malarial drug chloroquine prevents exogenous Tat degradation and enhances the amount of Tat available to activate HIV-1 LTR, we hypothesize that acidifying endolysosomes may enhance Tat degradation in endolysosomes and restrict LTR transactivation. Here, we determined the involvement of endolysosome-resident transient receptor potential mucolipin 1 channel (TRPML1) and the big conductance Ca<sup>2+</sup>-activated potassium (BK) channel in regulating endolysosome pH, as well as Tat-mediated HIV-1 LTR transactivation in U87MG cells stably integrated with HIV-1 LTR luciferase reporter. Activating TRPML1 channels with ML-SA1 acidified endolysosomes and restricted Tat-mediated HIV-1 LTR transactivation. These effects of ML-SA1 appeared to be mediated through activation of BK channels, because the effects of ML-SA1 on Tat-mediated HIV-1 LTR transactivation were blocked using pharmacological inhibitors or shRNA knock-down of BK channels. On the other hand, activating TRPML1 and BK channels enhanced cellular degradation of exogenous Tat. These results suggest that acidifying endolysosomes by activating TRPML1 or BK channels may provide therapeutic benefit against latent HIV-1 infection, HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorders, and other HIV-1 comorbidities.
Project description:HIV-1 usurps the RNA polymerase II elongation control machinery to regulate the expression of its genome during lytic and latent viral stages. After integration into the host genome, the HIV promoter within the long terminal repeat (LTR) is subject to potent downregulation in a postinitiation step of transcription. Once produced, the viral protein Tat commandeers the positive transcription elongation factor, P-TEFb, and brings it to the engaged RNA polymerase II (Pol II), leading to the production of viral proteins and genomic RNA. HIV can also enter a latent phase during which factors that regulate Pol II elongation may play a role in keeping the virus silent. HIV, the causative agent of AIDS, is a worldwide health concern. It is hoped that knowledge of the mechanisms regulating the expression of the HIV genome will lead to treatments and ultimately a cure.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Tat protein plays an essential role in HIV-1 gene transcription. Tat transactivates HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR)-directed gene expression through direct interactions with the transactivation-responsive region (TAR) element and other cis elements in the LTR. The TAR-independent Tat-mediated LTR transactivation is modulated by several host factors, but the mechanism is not fully understood.<h4>Results</h4>Here, we report that Tat interacts with the Rel homology domain of RelB through its core region. Furthermore, RelB significantly increases Tat-mediated transcription of the HIV-1 LTR and viral gene expression, which is independent of the TAR. Both Tat and RelB are recruited to the HIV-1 promoter, of which RelB facilitates the recruitment of Tat to the viral LTR. The NF-κB elements are key to the accumulation of Tat and RelB on the LTR. Knockout of RelB reduces the accumulation of RNA polymerase II on the LTR, and decreases HIV-1 gene transcription. Together, our data suggest that RelB contributes to HIV-1 transactivation.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our results demonstrate that RelB interacts with Tat and enhances TAR-independent activation of HIV-1 LTR promoter, which adds new insights into the multi-layered mechanisms of Tat in regulating the gene expression of HIV-1.
Project description:Multiple human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) sequences with deletions of NF-kappaB binding sites at both the 5' and 3' long terminal repeats (LTRs) were identified in serial samples collected from an infected individual. The effect of this deletion on the level of transcription was studied by transient transfection of an LTR-driven luciferase reporter gene and by infection with a full-length recombinant HIV-1 containing a luciferase reporter (HIVHXBluc). Detectable levels of gene expression were found in both systems, in the presence or absence of the viral transactivator Tat. Interestingly, a duplication of a putative TCF-1alpha motif was found in place of the NF-kappaB elements in these viruses. Higher transcriptional activity was observed with HXBLTR (NF-kappaB intact) than with the patient's LTR (NF-kappaB deleted), suggesting that the NF-kappaB binding sites may promote optimal levels of viral gene transcription. The ability of these viruses with NF-kappaB deleted to replicate and cause substantial decline in CD4 cell counts demonstrates that the NF-kappaB binding sites are not absolutely required for viral replication or pathogenicity in vivo. These results are consistent with the notion that the HIV-1 LTR possesses functional redundancy which allows it to interact with multiple transcription factors, thereby ensuring viral replication in a variety of cell types.
Project description:HIV-1 Vpr is an accessory protein that induces proteasomal degradation of multiple proteins. We recently showed that Vpr targets class I HDACs on chromatin for proteasomal degradation. Here we show that Vpr induces degradation of HDAC1 and HDAC3 in HIV-1 latently infected J-Lat cells. Degradation of HDAC1 and HDAC3 was also observed on the HIV-1 LTR and as a result, markers of active transcription were recruited to the viral promoter and induced viral activation. Knockdown of HDAC1 and HDAC3 activated the latent HIV-1 provirus and complementation with HDAC3 inhibited Vpr-induced HIV-1 reactivation. Viral reactivation and degradation of HDAC1 and HDAC3 was conserved among Vpr proteins of HV-1 group M. Serum Vpr isolated from patients or the release of virion-incorporated Vpr from viral lysates also activated HIV-1 in latently infected cell lines and PBMCs from HIV-1 infected patients. Our results indicate that Vpr counteracts HIV-1 latency by inducing proteasomal degradation of HDAC1 and 3 leading to reactivation of the viral promoter.
Project description:The persistence of transcriptionally silent but replication-competent HIV-1 reservoirs in Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART)-treated infected individuals, represents a major hurdle to virus eradication. Activation of HIV-1 gene expression in these cells together with an efficient HAART has been proposed as an adjuvant therapy aimed at decreasing the pool of latent viral reservoirs. Using the latently-infected U1 monocytic cell line and latently-infected J-Lat T-cell clones, we here demonstrated a strong synergistic activation of HIV-1 production by clinically used histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) combined with prostratin, a non-tumor-promoting nuclear factor (NF)- kappaB inducer. In J-Lat cells, we showed that this synergism was due, at least partially, to the synergistic recruitment of unresponsive cells into the expressing cell population. A combination of prostratin+HDACI synergistically activated the 5' Long Terminal Repeat (5'LTR) from HIV-1 Major group subtypes representing the most prevalent viral genetic forms, as shown by transient transfection reporter assays. Mechanistically, HDACIs increased prostratin-induced DNA-binding activity of nuclear NF-kappaB and degradation of cytoplasmic NF-kappaB inhibitor, IkappaBalpha . Moreover, the combined treatment prostratin+HDACI caused a more pronounced nucleosomal remodeling in the U1 viral promoter region than the treatments with the compounds alone. This more pronounced remodeling correlated with a synergistic reactivation of HIV-1 transcription following the combined treatment prostratin+HDACI, as demonstrated by measuring recruitment of RNA polymerase II to the 5'LTR and both initiated and elongated transcripts. The physiological relevance of the prostratin+HDACI synergism was shown in CD8(+)-depleted peripheral blood mononuclear cells from HAART-treated patients with undetectable viral load. Moreover, this combined treatment reactivated viral replication in resting CD4(+) T cells isolated from similar patients. Our results suggest that combinations of different kinds of proviral activators may have important implications for reducing the size of latent HIV-1 reservoirs in HAART-treated patients.