Virion encapsidated HIV-1 Vpr induces NFAT to prime non-activated T cells for productive infection.
ABSTRACT: The majority of T cells encountered by HIV-1 are non-activated and do not readily allow productive infection. HIV-1 Vpr is highly abundant in progeny virions, and induces signalling and HIV-1 LTR transcription. We hence hypothesized that Vpr might be a determinant of non-activated T-cell infection. Virion-delivered Vpr activated nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) through Ca(2+) influx and interference with the NFAT export kinase GSK3?. This leads to NFAT translocation and accumulation within the nucleus and was required for productive infection of unstimulated primary CD4(+) T cells. A mutagenesis approach revealed correlation of Vpr-mediated NFAT activation with its ability to enhance LTR transcription and mediate cell cycle arrest. Upon NFAT inhibition, Vpr did not augment resting T-cell infection, and showed reduced G2/M arrest and LTR transactivation. Altogether, Vpr renders unstimulated T cells more permissive for productive HIV-1 infection and stimulates activation of productively infected as well as virus-exposed T cells. Therefore, it could be involved in the establishment and reactivation of HIV-1 from viral reservoirs and might have an impact on the levels of immune activation, which are determinants of HIV-1 pathogenesis.
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:A majority of the human genome is transcribed into noncoding RNAs, of which the functions of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are poorly understood. Many host proteins and RNAs have been characterized for their roles in HIV/AIDS pathogenesis, but there is only one lncRNA, NEAT1, which is shown to affect the HIV-1 life cycle. We profiled 90 disease-related lncRNAs and found NRON (noncoding repressor of Nuclear Factor of Activated T cells [NFAT]) to be one of several lncRNAs whose expression was significantly altered following HIV-1 infection. The regulation of NRON expression during the HIV-1 life cycle was complex; its levels were reduced by the early viral accessory protein Nef and increased by the late protein Vpu. Consequently, Nef and Vpu also modulated activity of the transcription factor NFAT. The knockdown of NRON enhanced HIV-1 replication through increased activity of NFAT and the viral LTR. Using siRNA-mediated NFAT knockdown, we show the effects of NRON on HIV-1 replication to be mediated by NFAT, and the viral Nef and Vpu proteins to modulate NFAT activity through their effects on NRON. These findings add the lncRNA, NRON to the vast repertoire of host factors utilized by HIV for infection and persistence.
Project description:The bacterial defense system CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) has been explored as a powerful tool to edit genomic elements. In this study, we test the potential of CRISPR Csy4 RNA endoribonuclease for targeting HIV-1. We fused human codon-optimized Csy4 endoribonuclease with VPR, a HIV-1 viral preintegration complex protein. An HIV-1 cell model was modified to allow quantitative detection of active virus production. We found that the trans-expressing VPR-Csy4 almost completely blocked viral infection in two target cell lines (SupT1, Ghost). In the MAGI cell assay, where the HIV-1 LTR ?-galactosidase is expressed under the control of the tat gene from an integrated provirus, VPR-Csy4 significantly blocked the activity of the provirus-activated HIV-1 reporter. This proof-of-concept study demonstrates that Csy4 endoribonuclease is a promising tool that could be tailored further to target HIV-1.
Project description:The host factor, nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT), regulates the transcription and replication of HIV-1. Here, we have determined the crystal structure of the DNA binding domain of NFAT bound to the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) tandem kappaB enhancer element at 3.05 A resolution. NFAT binds as a dimer to the upstream kappaB site (Core II), but as a monomer to the 3' end of the downstream kappaB site (Core I). The DNA shows a significant bend near the 5' end of Core I, where a lysine residue from NFAT bound to the 3' end of Core II inserts into the minor groove and seems to cause DNA bases to flip out. Consistent with this structural feature, the 5' end of Core I become hypersensitive to dimethylsulfate in the in vivo footprinting upon transcriptional activation of the HIV-1 LTR. Our studies provide a basis for further investigating the functional mechanisms of NFAT in HIV-1 transcription and replication.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The Vpr protein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) plays an important role in viral replication. It has been reported that Vpr stimulates the nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) and activator protein 1 (AP-1) signaling pathways, and thereby regulates viral and host cell gene expression. However, the molecular mechanism behind this function of Vpr is not fully understood. RESULTS: Here, we have identified transforming growth factor-?-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) as the important upstream signaling molecule that Vpr associates with in order to activate NF-?B and AP-1 signaling. HIV-1 virion-associated Vpr is able to stimulate phosphorylation of TAK1. This activity of Vpr depends on its association with TAK1, since the S79A Vpr mutant lost interaction with TAK1 and was unable to activate TAK1. This association allows Vpr to promote the interaction of TAB3 with TAK1 and increase the polyubiquitination of TAK1, which renders TAK1 phosphorylation. In further support of the key role of TAK1 in this function of Vpr, knockdown of endogenous TAK1 significantly attenuated the ability of Vpr to activate NF-?B and AP-1 as well as the ability to stimulate HIV-1 LTR promoter. CONCLUSIONS: HIV-1 Vpr enhances the phosphorylation and polyubiquitination of TAK1, and as a result, activates NF-?B and AP-1 signaling pathways and stimulates HIV-1 LTR promoter.
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:Following proviral integration into the host cell genome and establishment of a latent state, the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) can reenter a productive life cycle in response to various stimuli. HIV-1 reactivation occurs when transcription factors, such as nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B), nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT), and activator protein -1 (AP-1), bind cognate sites within the long terminal repeat (LTR) region of the HIV-1 provirus to promote transcription. Interestingly, pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) that recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) can reactivate latent HIV-1 through activation of the transcription factor NF-?B. Some PRRs are expressed on central memory CD4+ T cells (TCM), which in HIV-1 patients constitute the main reservoir of latent HIV-1. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB), interacts with PRRs through membrane components. However, the ability of Mtb to reactivate latent HIV-1 has not been extensively studied. Here we show that phosphatidylinositol mannoside 6 (PIM6), a component of the Mtb membrane, in addition to whole bacteria in co-culture, can reactivate HIV-1 in a primary TCM cell model of latency. Using a JLAT model of HIV-1 latency, we found this interaction to be mediated through Toll-like receptor-2 (TLR-2). Thus, we describe a mechanism by which Mtb can exacerbate HIV-1 infection. We hypothesize that chronic Mtb infection can drive HIV-1 reactivation. The phenomenon described here could explain, in part, the poor prognosis that characterizes HIV-1/Mtb co-infection.
Project description:Transcriptional control of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) promoter, the long terminal repeat (LTR), is achieved by interactions with cis-acting elements present both upstream and downstream of the start site. In silico transcription factor binding analysis of the HIV-1 subtype B LTR sequences revealed a potential downstream CCAAT enhancer binding protein (C/EBP) binding site. This binding site (+158 to+172), designated DS3, was found to be conserved in 67% of 3,858 unique subtype B LTR sequences analyzed in terms of nucleotide sequence as well as physical location in the LTR. DS3 was found to be well represented in other subtypes as well. Interestingly, DS3 overlaps with a previously identified region that bind members of the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) family of proteins. NFATc2 exhibited a higher relative affinity for DS3 as compared with members of the C/EBP family (C/EBP ? and ?). DS3 was able to compete efficiently with the low-affinity upstream C/EBP binding site I with respect to C/EBP binding, suggesting utilization of both NFAT and C/EBP. Moreover, cyclosporine A treatment, which has been shown to prevent dephosphorylation and nuclear translocation of NFAT isoforms, resulted in enhanced C/EBP? binding. The interactions at DS3 were also validated in an integrated HIV-1 LTR in chronically infected U1 cells. A binding knockout of DS3 demonstrated reduced HIV-1 LTR-directed transcription under both basal and interleukin-6-stimulated conditions only in cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage cells and not in cells of T-cell origin. Thus, the events at DS3 positively regulate the HIV-1 promoter in cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage.
Project description:Mammals have evolved many antiviral factors impacting different steps of the viral life cycle. Associated with chromatin-modifying enzymes, the cellular cofactor CTIP2 contributes to HIV-1 gene silencing in latently infected reservoirs that constitute the major block toward an HIV cure. We report, for the first time, that the virus has developed a strategy to overcome this major transcriptional block. Productive HIV-1 infection results in a Vpr-mediated depletion of CTIP2 in microglial cells and CD4+ T cells, two of the major viral reservoirs. Associated to the Cul4A-DDB1-DCAF1 ubiquitin ligase complex, Vpr promotes CTIP2 degradation via the proteasome pathway in the nuclei of target cells and notably at the latent HIV-1 promoter. Importantly, Vpr targets CTIP2 associated with heterochromatin-promoting enzymes dedicated to HIV-1 gene silencing. Thereby, Vpr reactivates HIV-1 expression in a microglial model of HIV-1 latency. Altogether our results suggest that HIV-1 Vpr mediates the depletion of the cellular repressor CTIP2 to counteract viral gene silencing.
Project description:Quiescence is a hallmark of CD4+ T cells latently infected with human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1). While reversing this quiescence is an effective approach to reactivate latent HIV from T cells in culture, it can cause deleterious cytokine dysregulation in patients. As a key regulator of T-cell quiescence, FOXO1 promotes latency and suppresses productive HIV infection. We report that, in resting T cells, FOXO1 inhibition impaired autophagy and induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, thereby activating two associated transcription factors: activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) and nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT). Both factors associate with HIV chromatin and are necessary for HIV reactivation. Indeed, inhibition of protein kinase R-like ER kinase, an ER stress sensor that can mediate the induction of ATF4, and calcineurin, a calcium-dependent regulator of NFAT, synergistically suppressed HIV reactivation induced by FOXO1 inhibition. Thus, our studies uncover a link of FOXO1, ER stress and HIV infection that could be therapeutically exploited to selectively reverse T-cell quiescence and reduce the size of the latent viral reservoir.