Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) can induce human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transcription from the HIV long terminal repeat (LTR). However, ex vivo and in vivo responses to HDACi are variable and the activity of HDACi in cells other than T-cells have not been well characterised. Here, we developed a novel assay to determine the activity of HDACi on patient-derived HIV LTRs in different cell types. HIV LTRs from integrated virus were amplified using triple-nested Alu-PCR from total memory CD4+ T-cells (CD45RO+) isolated from HIV-infected patients prior to and following suppressive antiretroviral therapy. NL4-3 or patient-derived HIV LTRs were cloned into the chromatin forming episomal vector pCEP4, and the effect of HDACi investigated in the astrocyte and epithelial cell lines SVG and HeLa, respectively. There were no significant differences in the sequence of the HIV LTRs isolated from CD4+ T-cells prior to and after 18 months of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). We found that in both cell lines, the HDACi panobinostat, trichostatin A, vorinostat and entinostat activated patient-derived HIV LTRs to similar levels seen with NL4-3 and all patient derived isolates had similar sensitivity to maximum HDACi stimulation. We observed a marked difference in the maximum fold induction of luciferase by HDACi in HeLa and SVG, suggesting that the effect of HDACi may be influenced by the cellular environment. Finally, we observed significant synergy in activation of the LTR with vorinostat and the viral protein Tat. Together, our results suggest that the LTR sequence of integrated virus is not a major determinant of a functional response to an HDACi.
Bone marrow stromal cell-2 (BST-2) has major roles in viral tethering and modulation of interferon production. Here we investigate BST-2 as a receptor for the delivery of antigen to dendritic cells (DCs). We show that BST-2 is expressed by a panel of mouse and human DC subsets, particularly under inflammatory conditions. The outcome of delivering antigen to BST-2 expressed by steady state and activated plasmacytoid DC (pDC) or conventional CD8(+) and CD8(-) DCs was determined. T-cell responses were measured for both MHC class I (MHCI) and MHC class II (MHCII) antigen presentation pathways in vitro. Delivering antigen via BST-2 was compared with that via receptors DEC205 or Siglec-H. We show that despite a higher antigen load and faster receptor internalisation, when antigen is delivered to steady state or activated pDC via BST-2, BST-2-targeted activated conventional DCs present antigen more efficiently. Relative to DEC205, BST-2 was inferior in its capacity to deliver antigen to the MHCI cross-presentation pathway. In contrast, BST-2 was superior to Siglec-H at initiating either MHCI or MHCII antigen presentation. In summary, BST-2 is a useful receptor to target with antigen, given its broad expression pattern and ability to access both MHCI and MHCII presentation pathways with relative efficiency.
We recently described that HIV latent infection can be established in vitro following incubation of resting CD4+ T-cells with chemokines that bind to CCR7. The main aim of this study was to fully define the post-integration blocks to virus replication in this model of CCL19-induced HIV latency.
Functional naïve T-cells are critical for an effective immune response to multiple pathogens. HIV leads to a significant reduction in CD4+ naïve T-cell number and impaired function and there is incomplete recovery following combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). Here we review the basic homeostatic mechanisms that maintain naïve CD4+ T-cells and discuss recent developments in understanding the impact of HIV infection on naïve CD4+ T-cells. Finally we review therapeutic interventions in HIV-infected individuals aimed at specifically enhancing recovery of naïve CD4+ T-cells.
Naive T cell recovery is critical for successful immune reconstitution after antiretroviral therapy (ART), but the relative contribution of CD31(+) and CD31? naive T cells to immune reconstitution and viral persistence is unknown.
Building on previous findings that amiloride analogues inhibit HIV-1 replication in monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM), Biotron Limited has generated a library of over 300 small-molecule compounds with significant improvements in anti-HIV-1 activity. Our lead compound, BIT225, blocks Vpu ion channel activity and also shows anti-HIV-1 activity, with a 50% effective concentration of 2.25+/-0.23 microM (mean+/-the standard error) and minimal in vitro toxicity (50% toxic concentration, 284 microM) in infected MDM, resulting in a selectivity index of 126. In this study, we define the antiretroviral efficacy of BIT225 activity in macrophages, which are important drug targets because cells of the monocyte lineage are key reservoirs of HIV-1, disseminating virus to the peripheral tissues as they differentiate into macrophages. In assays with acutely and chronically HIV-1Ba-L-infected MDM, BIT225 resulted in significant reductions in viral integration and virus release as measured by real-time PCR and a reverse transcriptase (RT) activity assay at various stages of monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation. Further, the TZM-bl assay showed that the de novo virus produced at low levels in the presence of BIT225 was less infectious than virus produced in the absence of the compound. No antiviral activity was observed in MDM chronically infected with HIV-2, which lacks Vpu, confirming our initial targeting of and screening against this viral protein. The activity of BIT225 is post-virus integration, with no direct effects on the HIV-1 enzymes RT and protease. The findings of this study suggest that BIT225 is a late-phase inhibitor of the viral life cycle, targeting Vpu, and is a drug capable of significantly inhibiting HIV-1 release from both acute and chronically infected macrophages.
Latently infected resting CD4+ T cells are the major barrier to curing HIV. We have recently demonstrated that chemokines, which bind to the chemokine receptors CCR7, CXCR3 and CCR6, facilitate efficient HIV nuclear localisation and integration in resting CD4+ T cells, leading to latency. As latently infected cells are enriched in lymphoid tissues, where chemokines are highly concentrated, this may provide a mechanism for the generation of latently infected cells in vivo. Here we review the role of chemokines in HIV persistence; the main signalling pathways that are involved; and how these pathways may be exploited to develop novel strategies to reduce or eliminate latently infected cells.
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