Intracellular Casp8p41 content is inversely associated with CD4 T cell count.
ABSTRACT: Casp8p41 is a protein fragment generated by cleavage of procaspase 8 by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protease. We measured Casp8p41 content in memory CD4 T cells and analyzed the association of Casp8p41 content with CD4 T cell count, cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Casp8p41 content was inversely correlated with CD4 T cell count, and change in Casp8p41 content was associated with absolute CD4 T cell count with change over time. Casp8p41 change was a better predictor of CD4 T cell count change than activated CD8 T cell percentage or viral load and was comparable to bacterial 16s DNA levels. This suggests that Casp8p41 is a relevant mediator of CD4 T cell death during HIV infection.
Project description:Most patients on suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART) experience improvements in CD4 T cell count. However, some patients with undetectable viral load continue to lose CD4 T cells for unknown reasons. Casp8p41 is a host-derived protein fragment that is present only in productively infected cells and that causes the death of HIV-infected cells. We questioned whether ongoing CD4(+) T cell losses while on suppressive ART were associated with subclinical HIV replication causing production of Casp8p41. We analyzed the association of Casp8p41 content with subsequent CD4 losses in patients on continuous suppressive ART and in patients who discontinued ART after Casp8p41 content was determined, adjusting for age, baseline CD4(+) T cell count, and baseline HIV RNA level. Casp8p41 expression in memory CD4(+) T cells was measured by intracellular flow cytometry and was correlated with viral load and CD4(+) T cell change over time. In patients who stopped therapy after Casp8p41 content was determined, baseline Casp8p41 content did not predict CD4(+) T cell change. However, in patients on continuous ART, higher baseline Casp8p41 content was associated with a greater odds of a CD4(+) T cell decline at 6 months (p=0.01). Therefore, patients on suppressive ART, who have ongoing production of Casp8p41, have an increased risk of CD4 T cell losses, suggesting that subclinical HIV replication is driving both Casp8p41, which in turn causes a CD4(+) T cell decline.
Project description:HIV protease is known to cause cell death, which is dependent upon cleavage of procaspase 8. HIV protease cleavage of procaspase 8 generates Casp8p41, which directly binds Bak with nanomolar affinity, causing Bak activation and consequent cell death. Casp8p41 can also bind Bcl2 with nanomolar affinity, in which case cell death is averted. Central memory CD4 T cells express high levels of Bcl2, possibly explaining why those cells do not die when they reactivate HIV. Here, we determine that the Casp8p41-Bcl2 complex is polyubiquitinated and degraded by the proteasome. Ixazomib, a proteasome inhibitor in clinical use, blocks this pathway, increasing the abundance of Casp8p41 and causing more cells to die in a Casp8p41-dependent manner.IMPORTANCE The Casp8p41 pathway of cell death is unique to HIV-infected cells yet is blocked by Bcl2. Once bound by Bcl2, Casp8p41 is polyubiquitinated and degraded by the proteasome. Proteasome inhibition blocks degradation of Casp8p41, increasing Casp8p41 levels and causing more HIV-infected cells to die.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Understanding how some HIV-infected cells resist the cytotoxicity of HIV replication is crucial to enabling HIV cure efforts. HIV killing of CD4 T cells that replicate HIV can involve HIV protease-mediated cleavage of procaspase 8 to generate a fragment (Casp8p41) that directly binds and activates the mitochondrial proapoptotic protein BAK. Here, we demonstrate that Casp8p41 also binds with nanomolar affinity to the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2, which sequesters Casp8p41 and prevents apoptosis. Further, we show that central memory CD4 T cells (TCM) from HIV-infected individuals have heightened expression of BCL-2 relative to procaspase 8, possibly explaining the persistence of HIV-infected TCMdespite generation of Casp8p41. Consistent with this hypothesis, the selective BCL-2 antagonist venetoclax induced minimal killing of uninfected CD4 T cells but markedly increased the death of CD4 T cells and diminished cell-associated HIV DNA when CD4 T cells from antiretroviral therapy (ART)-suppressed HIV patients were induced with ?CD3/?CD28 to reactivate HIVex vivo Thus, priming CD4 T cells from ART suppressed HIV patients with a BCL-2 antagonist, followed by HIV reactivation, achieves reductions in cell-associated HIV DNA, whereas HIV reactivation alone does not. IMPORTANCE:HIV infection is incurable due to a long-lived reservoir of HIV(+)memory CD4 T cells, and no clinically relevant interventions have been identified that reduce the number of these HIV DNA-containing cells. Since postintegration HIV replication can result in HIV protease generation of Casp8p41, which activates BAK, causing infected CD4 T cell death, we sought to determine whether this occurs in memory CD4 T cells. Here, we demonstrate that memory CD4 T cells can generate Casp8p41 and yet are intrinsically resistant to death induced by diverse stimuli, including Casp8p41. Furthermore, BCL-2 expression is relatively increased in these cells and directly binds and inhibits Casp8p41's proapoptotic effects. Antagonizing BCL-2 with venetoclax derepresses this antagonism, resulting in death, preferentially in HIV DNA containing cells, since only these cells generate Casp8p41. Thus, BCL-2 antagonism is a clinically relevant intervention with the potential to reduce HIV reservoir size in patients.
Project description:Previous studies have shown that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protease cleaves procaspase 8 to a fragment, termed Casp8p41, that lacks caspase activity but nonetheless contributes to T cell apoptosis. Herein, we show that Casp8p41 contains a domain that interacts with the BH3-binding groove of pro-apoptotic Bak to cause Bak oligomerization, Bak-mediated membrane permeabilization, and cell death. Levels of active Bak are higher in HIV-infected T cells that express Casp8p41. Conversely, targeted mutations in the Bak-interacting domain diminish Bak binding and Casp8p41-mediated cell death. Similar mutations in procaspase 8 impair the ability of HIV to kill infected T cells. These observations support a novel paradigm in which HIV converts a normal cellular constituent into a direct activator that functions like a BH3-only protein.
Project description:In medicine, understanding the pathophysiologic basis of exceptional circumstances has led to an enhanced understanding of biology. We have studied the circumstance of HIV-infected patients in whom antiretroviral therapy results in immunologic benefit, despite virologic failure. In such patients, two protease mutations, I54V and V82A, occur more frequently. Expressing HIV protease containing these mutations resulted in less cell death, caspase activation, and nuclear fragmentation than wild type (WT) HIV protease or HIV protease containing other mutations. The impaired induction of cell death was also associated with impaired cleavage of procaspase 8, a requisite event for HIV protease mediated cell death. Primary CD4 T cells expressing I54V or V82A protease underwent less cell death than with WT or other mutant proteases. Human T cells infected with HIV containing these mutations underwent less cell death and less Casp8p41 production than WT or HIV containing other protease mutations, despite similar degrees of viral replication. The reductions in cell death occurred both within infected cells, as well as in uninfected bystander cells. These data indicate that single point mutations within HIV protease which are selected in vivo can significantly impact the ability of HIV to kill CD4 T cells, while not impacting viral replication. Therefore, HIV protease regulates both HIV replication as well as HIV induced T cell depletion, the hallmark of HIV pathogenesis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The heterogeneity of CD4 T-cell counts and HIV-1 RNA at 5-12 years after the initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) remains largely uncharacterized. METHODS:In the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, 614 men who initiated HAART contributed data 5-12 years subsequently. Multivariate regression was used to evaluate the predictors of CD4 counts and HIV-1 RNA levels. RESULTS:At 5 to 12 years post-HAART, the median CD4 T-cell count was 586 (interquartile range, 421-791) cells per microliter and 78% of the HIV-1 RNA measurements were undetectable. Higher CD4 T-cell counts 5-12 years post HAART were predicted by higher CD4 T-cell counts and higher total lymphocyte count pre HAART, lack of hepatitis B or C virus coinfections, and greater CD4 T-cell change and suppressed HIV-1 RNA in the first 5 years after starting HAART. Men who were 50 years and older with 351-500 CD4 cells per microliter at HAART initiation had adjusted mean CD4 T-cell count of 643 cells per microliter at 10-12 years post HAART, which was similar to the adjusted mean CD4 T-cell count (670 cells/?L, P = 0.45) in this period for younger men starting HAART with lower CD4 T-cell counts. HIV-1 RNA suppression in the first 5 years post HAART predicted subsequent viral suppression. CONCLUSIONS:Immunological and virological responses in the first 5 years post HAART predicted subsequent CD4 T-cell counts and HIV-1 RNA levels. The association between age and subsequent CD4 T-cell count supports incorporating age in the guidelines for use of HAART.
Project description:Ethnic differences have the potential to confound associations between HIV-1 subtype and immunologic progression. We compared declines in CD4 cell counts during untreated infection for the most prevalent HIV-1 subtypes, focusing on distinguishing between the effects of viral subtype and ethnicity.We combined data from 4 European and 6 Canadian cohorts, selecting adults in the stable chronic phase of untreated HIV infection. We estimated the change in square root CD4 cell count over time for subtypes and ethnicities using mixed models, adjusting for covariates selected for their potential effect on initial CD4 cell count or its decline.Data from 9772 patients were analyzed, contributing 79 175 measurements of CD4 cell count and 24 157 person-years of follow-up. Overall, there were no appreciable differences in CD4 cell count decline for viral subtypes A, CRF01_AE, CRF02_AG, C and G compared with viral subtype B; whereas the decline in CD4 cell count in patients of African ancestry was considerably slower than in patients of other ethnicity. When ethnic groups were studied separately, there was evidence for slower declines in CD4 cell count in viral subtypes C, and possibly A and G, compared with viral subtype B in patients of African ancestry but not among patients of other ethnicities, suggesting an interaction between subtype and ethnicity.Ethnicity is a major determinant of CD4 cell count decline; viral subtype differences may have existed but were small compared with the effect of ethnicity and were most apparent in patients of African ancestry. In developing countries, slower CD4 cell count declines among individuals of African descent may translate to a longer asymptomatic phase and increase the opportunity for HIV transmission.
Project description:BACKGROUND:There is intense interest in the role of programmed death 1 (PD-1) in causing persistent T-cell dysfunction in HIV infection. However, the impact of HIV infection and antiretroviral treatment (ART) on the expression of PD-1 on T cells is still poorly defined. METHODS:PD-1 was measured longitudinally in a cohort of recently HIV-infected individuals (n?=?121) who started ART early (<6 months after infection) vs. later (?2 years after infection). PD-1 was also measured cross-sectionally in a diverse cohort of chronically HIV-infected adults (n?=?206). RESULTS:PD-1 expression levels were high on CD8? T cells during early HIV infection. PD-1 levels increased on both CD4? and CD8? T cells populations in those who delayed therapy (11 and 10%/year, respectively). PD-1 levels declined and were similar in those treated early vs. late after 1 year of ART. In both cohorts, PD-1 expression on CD4? T cells was associated with CD4? T-cell activation (CD38?HLA-DR?) and inversely with CD4? cell count. In contrast, PD-1 expression on CD8? T cells was most strongly associated with CD8? T-cell activation and with plasma viral load in viremic individuals. CONCLUSION:Across two large cohorts of untreated and treated individuals, we found consistent associations between HIV RNA levels, CD8? T-cell activation and PD-1 expression on CD8? T cells. In contrast, CD4? T-cell counts and CD4? T-cell activation were more consistent correlates of PD-1 expression on CD4? T cells. PD-1 expression appears to be driven by both direct antigen and homeostatic pathways.
Project description:BACKGROUND:While persistent T-cell activation has been cross-sectionally associated with poor CD4+ T-cell restoration in HIV-infected individuals maintaining antiretroviral treatment (ART)-mediated viral suppression, it remains unclear whether CD8+ T-cell activation is of predictive effect on CD4+ T-cell recovery. OBJECTIVE:We assessed whether the extent of persistent CD8+ T-cell activation (% CD38+/HLA-DR+) in the first few years of ART-mediated viral suppression predicted subsequent CD4+ T-cell recovery in 95 subjects with up to 15 years of observation on suppressive ART. RESULTS:Lower CD8+ T-cell activation and higher naïve CD4+ T-cell frequencies (CD45RA+/CD62L+) measured at year 3 to 5 after starting ART independently predicted greater subsequent CD4+ T-cell increases. The mean CD4 count increase from year 0 to year 5 and the increase to the average of year 10 to 15 in the low CD8 activation group (?18.5%; mean = 13%) were 342 and 458 cells/mm,3 and the increases were 248 and 349 cells/mm3 for the high CD8 activation group (?18.5%; mean = 29%) (P = .002 and P = .016, respectively, comparing groups). At years 10 to 15, the mean CD4 counts in the groups were 579 and 484 cells/mm3, respectively (P = .026). CONCLUSION:These findings support the need to identify approaches to reduce immune activation in treated HIV disease.
Project description:Among HIV-infected patients initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART), early changes in CD4+ T-cell subsets are well described. However, HIV-infected late presenters initiating treatment present with a suboptimal CD4+ T-cell reconstitution and remain at a higher risk for AIDS and non-AIDS events. Therefore, factors associated with CD4+ T-cell reconstitution need to be determined in this population, which will allow designing effective immunotherapeutic strategies.Thirty-one adult patients with baseline CD4+ T-cell count <350 cells/mm3 exhibiting viral suppression after ART initiation were followed in the HIV/AIDS research center of Peking Union Medical College Hospital in Beijing, China, from October 2002 to September 2013. Changes in T-cell subsets and associated determinants were measured.Median baseline CD4+ T-cell count was 70 cells/mm3. We found a biphasic reconstitution of T-cell subsets and immune activation: a rapid change during the first 6 months followed by a more gradual change over the subsequent 8 years. Baseline CD4+ T-cell count >200 cells/mm3 in comparison to CD4+ T-cell count ?200 cells/mm3 was associated with more complete immune Reconstitution (77.8% vs. 27.3% respectively; P = 0.017) and normalized CD4/CD8 ratio. We showed that the baseline percentage of naive CD4+ T-cell was a predictive marker for complete immune reconstitution (area under receiver operating characteristic curve 0.907), and 12.4% as cutoff value had a sensitivity of 84.6% and a specificity of 88.2%.Baseline naive CD4+ T-cell percentage may serve as a predictive marker for optimal immune reconstitution during long-term therapy. Such study findings suggest that increasing thymic output should represent an avenue to improve patients who are diagnosed late in the course of infection.