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Blood. 2001 Aug 1;98(3):541-7.

HIV-1 glycoprotein 120 induces the MMP-9 cytopathogenic factor production that is abolished by inhibition of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway.

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  • 1Laboratoire d'Immunologie Rétrovirale et Moléculaire, the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 240 Av. E. Jeanbrau, 34094 Montpellier, France.


It has been previously shown that the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein 120 (gp120) activates cell signaling by CXCR4, independently of CD4. The present study examines the involvement of different intracellular signaling pathways and their physiopathologic consequences following the CD4-independent interaction between CXCR4 or CCR5 and gp120 in different cell types: primary T cells, CD4(-)/CXCR4(+)/CCR5(+) T cells, or glioma cells. These interactions were compared with those obtained with natural ligands, stromal cell-derived factor 1 alpha (SDF-1alpha) (CXCL12) and macrophage inflammatory protein 1 beta (MIP-1beta) (CCL4) of their respective coreceptors. Thus, both p38 and SAPK/Jun N-terminal kinase mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are activated on stimulation of these cells with either T- or M-tropic gp120, as well as with SDF-1alpha or MIP-1beta. In contrast, extracellular signal-related kinase 1 and 2 MAPKs are only activated by MIP-1beta but not by M-tropic gp120. Importantly, T- and M-tropic gp120 are able to induce the secretion of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), an extracellular metalloproteinase present in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with HIV-1 by T cells or glioma cells. Specific inhibition of MAPK p38 activation resulted in a complete abrogation of the induction of the MMP-9 pathogenic factor expression by gp120 or chemokines in both cell types. Because neurodegenerative features in acquired immune deficiency syndrome dementia may involve demyelinization by MMP-9, the specific targeting of p38 could provide a novel means to control HIV-induced cytopathogenic effects and cell homing to viral replication sites. (Blood. 2001;98:541-547)

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