The Signature Amino Acid Residue Serine 31 of HIV-1C Tat Potentiates an Activated Phenotype in Endothelial Cells.
ABSTRACT: The natural cysteine to serine variation at position 31 of Tat in HIV-1C disrupts the dicysteine motif attenuating the chemokine function of Tat. We ask if there exists a trade-off in terms of a gain of function for HIV-1C Tat due to this natural variation. We constructed two Tat-expression vectors encoding Tat proteins discordant for the serine 31 residue (CS-Tat vs. CC-Tat), expressed the proteins in Jurkat cells under doxycycline control, and performed the whole transcriptome analysis to compare the early events of Tat-induced host gene expression. Our analysis delineated a significant enrichment of pathways and gene ontologies associated with the angiogenic signaling events in CS-Tat stable cells. Subsequently, we validated and compared angiogenic signaling events induced by CS- vs. CC-Tat using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and the human cerebral microvascular endothelial cell line (hCMEC/D3). CS-Tat significantly enhanced the production of CCL2 from HUVEC and induced an activated phenotype in endothelial cells conferring on them enhanced migration, invasion, and in vitro morphogenesis potential. The ability of CS-Tat to induce the activated phenotype in endothelial cells could be of significance, especially in the context of HIV-associated cardiovascular and neuronal disorders. The findings from the present study are likely to help appreciate the functional significance of the SAR (signature amino acid residues) influencing the unique biological properties.
Project description:HIV-1 Clade C (Subtype C; HIV-1C) is responsible for greater than 50% of infections worldwide. Unlike clade B HIV-1 (Subtype B; HIV-1B), which is known to cause HIV associated dementia (HAD) in approximately 15% to 30% of the infected individuals, HIV-1C has been linked with lower prevalence of HAD (0 to 6%) in India and Ethiopia. However, recent studies report a higher prevalence of HAD in South Africa, Zambia and Botswana, where HIV-1C infections predominate. Therefore, we examined whether Southern African HIV-1C is genetically distinct and investigated its neurovirulence. HIV-1 Tat protein is a viral determinant of neurocognitive dysfunction. Therefore, we focused our study on the variations seen in tat gene and its contribution to HIV associated neuropathogenesis.A phylogenetic analysis of tat sequences of Southern African (South Africa and Zambia) HIV isolates with those from the geographically distant Southeast Asian (India and Bangladesh) isolates revealed that Southern African tat sequences are distinct from Southeast Asian isolates. The proportion of HIV - 1C variants with an intact dicysteine motif in Tat protein (C30C31) was significantly higher in the Southern African countries compared to Southeast Asia and broadly paralleled the high incidence of HAD in these countries. Neuropathogenic potential of a Southern African HIV-1C isolate (from Zambia; HIV-1C 1084i), a HIV-1C isolate (HIV-1 IndieC1) from Southeast Asia and a HIV-1B isolate (HIV-1 ADA) from the US were tested using in vitro assays to measure neurovirulence and a SCID mouse HIV encephalitis model to measure cognitive deficits. In vitro assays revealed that the Southern African isolate, HIV-1C 1084i exhibited increased monocyte chemotaxis and greater neurotoxicity compared to Southeast Asian HIV-1C. In neurocognitive tests, SCID mice injected with MDM infected with Southern African HIV-1C 1084i showed greater cognitive dysfunction similar to HIV-1B but much higher than those exposed to Southeast Asian HIV - 1C.We report here, for the first time, that HIV-1C from Southern African countries is genetically distinct from Southeast Asian HIV-1C and that it exhibits a high frequency of variants with dicysteine motif in a key neurotoxic HIV protein, Tat. Our results indicate that Tat dicysteine motif determines neurovirulence. If confirmed in population studies, it may be possible to predict neurocognitive outcomes of individuals infected with HIV-1C by genotyping Tat.
Project description:Molecular surveillance is the backbone of HIV-1 vaccinology. Full-length HIV-1 sequences are useful tools that can provide a better understanding of the epidemiology in a given region. A limited number of full-length HIV-1 sequences are available from India, where >95% of the HIV infections are due to HIV-1 subtype C (HIV-1C), which is distinct from the prototype African HIV-1C. In this study, we sequenced six full-length clones isolated from three patients. Extensive phylogenetic analyses of the full-length viral sequences using bioinformatic tools identified a separate cluster of Indian strains, thus confirming the distinct phylogenetic identity of the Indian HIV-1C. Notably, the long terminal repeat (LTR) of two of the six molecular clones contained only two NF-?B binding sites. The sequences also displayed features characteristic of HIV-1C including a Tat dicysteine motif, a shortened Rev open reading frame, and a predicted CCR5 coreceptor tropism for gp120 of three of the proviral sequences.
Project description:The emergence of skin substitutes provides a new approach for the treatment of wound repair and healing. The consistent and steady release of angiogenic factors is an important factor in the promotion of angiogenesis in skin substitutes, which usually lack, yet need, a vascular network.In this study, ginsenoside Rg1, a natural compound isolated from Panax notoginseng (PNS), was incorporated into a collagen/chitosan-gelatin microsphere (CC-GMS) scaffold. The cumulative release kinetics were evaluated, and the effects of the released Rg1 on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) behavior, including proliferation, migration, tube formation, cell-cycle progression, cell apoptosis, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion, were investigated. Additionally, HUVECs were cultured on the CC-GMS scaffold to test its biocompatibility. Standard Rg1 and VEGF were used as positive controls.The results indicated that the CC-GMS scaffold had good release kinetics. The Rg1 released from the CC-GMS scaffold did not lose its activity and had a significant effect on HUVEC proliferation. Both Rg1 and VEGF promoted HUVEC migration and tube formation. Rg1 did not induce HUVEC apoptosis but instead promoted HUVEC progression into the S and G2/M phases of the cell cycle. Rg1 significantly increased VEGF secretion compared with that in the control group. HUVEC culture on the CC-GMS scaffold indicated that this scaffold has good biocompatibility and that CC-GMS scaffolds containing different concentrations of Rg1 promote HUVEC attachment in a dose- and time-dependent manner.Rg1 may represent a new class of angiogenic agent that can be encapsulated in CC-GMS scaffolds to exert angiogenic effects in engineered tissue.
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-associated dementia (HAD) is correlated with increased monocyte migration to the brain, and the incidence of HAD among otherwise asymptomatic subjects appears to be lower in India than in the United States and Europe (1 to 2% versus 15 to 30%). Because of the genetic differences between HIV-1 strains circulating in these regions, we sought to identify viral determinants associated with this difference. We targeted Tat protein for these studies in view of its association with monocyte chemotactic function. Analyses of Tat sequences representing nine subtypes revealed that at least six amino acid residues are differentially conserved in subtype C Tat (C-Tat). Of these, cysteine (at position 31) was highly (>99%) conserved in non-subtype C viruses and more than 90% of subtype C viruses encoded a serine. We hypothesized a compromised chemotactic function of C-Tat due to the disruption of CC motif and tested it with the wild type C-Tat (CS) and its two isogenic variants (CC and SC) derived by site-directed mutagenesis. We found that the CS natural variant was defective for monocyte chemotactic activity without a loss in the transactivation property. While the CC mutant is functionally competent for both the functions, in contrast, the SC mutant was defective in both. Therefore, the loss of the C-Tat chemotactic property may underlie the reduced incidence of HAD; although not presenting conclusive evidence, this study provides the first evidence for a potential epidemiologic phenomenon associated with biological differences in the subtype C viruses.
Project description:The trans-activator of transcription (Tat) of HIV-1 plays an important role in viral infection and pathogenesis. We examined the genetic characteristics of exon 1 of the tat gene derived from 102 seropositive subjects from southern India. Database-derived Indian (n=105) and global (n=413) HIV-1C sequences were also used for viral epidemiological signature pattern analysis in the Tat open reading frame (ORF). We identified HIV-1C as the most predominant genetic subtype (99%) and the presence of a novel A1C recombinant strain in one study participant. After examining all the available HIV-1C Indian sequences from primary clinical isolates and database-derived sequences, we found a high level of sequence conservation (92.6 ± 12%) within Tat amino acid residues. Furthermore, signature pattern analysis identified five amino acid positions in Tat that contained signature residues unique for Indian HIV-1C consisting of 21A, 24N, 29K, 40K, and 60Q. Our data have direct relevance for subunit-based Tat HIV-1 vaccine development.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Poor cell engraftment and survival after transplantation limited the application of stem cell therapy. Synthetic biomaterials could provide an artificial microenvironment for stem cells, thereby improve cell survival and enhance the therapeutic efficiency of stem cells. METHODS:We synthesized a hydrogel by conjugating C domain peptide of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1C) onto chitosan (CS-IGF-1C hydrogel). Human placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hP-MSCs), which constitutively express a red fluorescent protein (RFP) and renilla luciferase (Rluc), were co-transplanted with CS-IGF-1C hydrogel into a murine hindlimb ischemia model. Transgenic mice expressing firefly luciferase (Fluc) under the promoter of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2-Luc) were used. Dual bioluminescence imaging (BLI) was applied for tracking the survival of hP-MSCs by Rluc imaging and the VEGFR2 signal pathway activation by Fluc imaging. To investigate the therapeutic mechanism of CS-IGF-1C hydrogel, angiographic, real-time PCR, and histological analysis were carried out. RESULTS:CS-IGF-1C hydrogel could improve hP-MSCs survival as well as promote angiogenesis as confirmed by dual BLI. These results were consistent with accelerated skeletal muscle structural and functional recovery. Histology analysis confirmed that CS-IGF-1C hydrogel robustly prevented fibrosis as shown by reduced collagen deposition, along with increased angiogenesis. In addition, the protective effects of CS-IGF-1C hydrogel, such as inhibiting H2O2-induced apoptosis and reducing inflammatory responses, were proved by in vitro experiments. CONCLUSIONS:Taken together, IGF-1Cs provides a conducive niche for hP-MSCs to exert pro-mitogenic, anti-apoptotic, and pro-angiogenic effects, as well as to inhibit fibrosis. Thus, the incorporation of functional peptide into bioscaffolds represents a safe and feasible approach to augment the therapeutic efficacy of stem cells.
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Tat is a mediator of viral transcription and is involved in the control of virus replication. However, associations between HIV-1 Tat diversity and functional effects during primary HIV-1 infection are still unclear. We estimated selection pressures in tat exon 1 using the mixed-effects model of evolution with 672 viral sequences generated from 20 patients infected with HIV-1 subtype C (HIV-1C) over 500 days postseroconversion. tat exon 1 residues 3, 4, 21, 24, 29, 39, and 68 were under positive selection, and we established that specific amino acid signature patterns were apparent in primary HIV-1C infection compared with chronic infection. We assessed the impact of these mutations on long terminal repeat (LTR) activity and found that Tat activity was negatively affected by the Ala(21) substitution identified in 13/20 (65%) of patients, which reduced LTR activity by 88% (± 1%) (P < 0.001). The greatest increase in Tat activity was seen with the Gln(35)/Lys(39) double mutant that resulted in an additional 49% (± 14%) production of LTR-driven luciferase (P = 0.012). There was a moderate positive correlation between Tat-mediated LTR activity and HIV-1 RNA in plasma (P = 0.026; r = 0.400) after 180 days postseroconversion that was reduced by 500 days postseroconversion (P = 0.043; r = 0.266). Although Tat activation of the LTR is not a strong predictor of these clinical variables, there are significant linear relationships between Tat transactivation and patients' plasma viral loads and CD4 counts, highlighting the complex interplay between Tat mutations in early HIV-1C infection.
Project description:HIV-1 expresses a multifunctional protein called TAT (trans-acting transcriptional activator), the function of which in vivo is tightly correlated with the incidence of Kaposi's sarcoma in AIDS patients. TAT is angiogenic and apparently binds to receptors specific for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Amino acids 46-60 of HIV-TAT, known as the basic peptide, have been shown to be responsible for its functional interaction with VEGF receptors. To characterize further the binding properties of this peptide, its coding sequence was fused to the reading frame of bacterial thioredoxin, allowing the production of large amounts of chimaeric polypeptides in bacteria in a biologically active form. Binding of chimaeric proteins to VEGF receptors was studied in vitro in endothelial cell cultures expressing either of the two receptors. Chimaeric thioredoxin proteins carrying the basic domain of TAT bound to both VEGF receptors with affinities similar to those of HIV-TAT or VEGF. Interestingly, these polypeptides competed only partially with VEGF for receptor binding, implying different binding sites for the TAT peptide and VEGF. This suggests that TAT binds VEGF receptors at new sites that might be useful targets for pharmacological intervention during pathological angiogenesis. The thioredoxin/basic-peptide chimaeras are functional agonists that mediate VEGF receptor signalling: (1) they stimulate the growth of endothelial cells; (2) together with basic fibroblast growth factor they cause tube formation of endothelial cells in collagen gels; (3) they induce blood vessel formation on the chicken chorioallantoic membrane; and (4) they activate VEGF receptor kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase activity.
Project description:Most studies of tissue factor (TF) expression in endothelial cells (EC) are performed under stationary culture conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of mechanical stimuli such as cyclic strain (CS) on the expression of TF in EC exposed to thrombin (Thr). Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were exposed to 4 U·mL(-1) Thr in the presence or absence of 10% average CS at 60 cycles·min(-1) and then TF expression was measured. TF messenger RNA (mRNA) expression peaked at 2 hours in HUVEC exposed to Thr, but at 4 hours in HUVEC exposed to both Thr + CS. TF expression was inhibited by p38 and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) inhibitors. For both Thr or Thr + CS stimuli, p38 and ERK activity peaked at 5 minutes (p < 0.05). Nuclear factor-kappa B levels remained high in the Thr group but not in the Thr + CS group, while Egr-1 levels were elevated in the Thr + CS group. We demonstrated CS-delayed, Thr-induced TF mRNA expression in HUVEC, which may be modulated by p38 and ERK inhibitors.
Project description:Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the causative agent of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), an AIDS-defining cancer with abnormal angiogenesis. The high incidence of KS in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected AIDS patients has been ascribed to an interaction between HIV type 1 (HIV-1) and KSHV, focusing on secretory proteins. The HIV-1 secreted protein HIV Tat has been found to synergize with KSHV lytic proteins to induce angiogenesis. However, the impact and underlying mechanisms of HIV Tat in KSHV-infected endothelial cells undergoing viral lytic reactivation remain unclear. Here, we identified LINC00313 as a novel KSHV reactivation-activated long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) that interacts with HIV Tat. We found that LINC00313 overexpression inhibits cell migration, invasion, and tube formation, and this suppressive effect was relieved by HIV Tat. In addition, LINC00313 bound to polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) complex components, and this interaction was disrupted by HIV Tat, suggesting that LINC00313 may mediate transcription repression through recruitment of PRC2 and that HIV Tat alleviates repression through disruption of this association. This notion was further supported by bioinformatics analysis of transcriptome profiles in LINC00313 overexpression combined with HIV Tat treatment. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) showed that LINC00313 overexpression negatively regulates cell movement and migration pathways, and enrichment of these pathways was absent in the presence of HIV Tat. Collectively, our results illustrate that an angiogenic repressive lncRNA, LINC00313, which is upregulated during KSHV reactivation, interacts with HIV Tat to promote endothelial cell motility. These results demonstrate that an lncRNA serves as a novel connector in HIV-KSHV interactions.IMPORTANCE KS is a prevalent tumor associated with infections with two distinct viruses, KSHV and HIV. Since KSHV and HIV infect distinct cell types, the virus-virus interaction associated with KS formation has focused on secretory factors. HIV Tat is a well-known RNA binding protein secreted by HIV. Here, we revealed LINC00313, an lncRNA upregulated during KSHV lytic reactivation, as a novel HIV Tat-interacting lncRNA that potentially mediates HIV-KSHV interactions. We found that LINC00313 can repress endothelial cell angiogenesis-related properties potentially by interacting with chromatin remodeling complex PRC2 and downregulation of cell migration-regulating genes. An interaction between HIV Tat and LINC00313 contributed to the dissociation of PRC2 from LINC00313 and the disinhibition of LINC00313-induced repression of cell motility. Given that lncRNAs are emerging as key players in tissue physiology and disease progression, including cancer, the mechanism identified in this study may help decipher the mechanisms underlying KS pathogenesis induced by HIV and KSHV coinfection.