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J Virol. 2002 Nov;76(21):11091-103.

Synergistic activation of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 promoter activity by NF-kappaB and inhibitors of deacetylases: potential perspectives for the development of therapeutic strategies.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Virologie Moléculaire, Service de Chimie Biologique, Institut de Biologie et de Médecine Moléculaires, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 6041 Gosselies, Belgium.


The transcription factor NF-kappaB plays a central role in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) activation pathway. HIV-1 transcription is also regulated by protein acetylation, since treatment with deacetylase inhibitors such as trichostatin A (TSA) or sodium butyrate (NaBut) markedly induces HIV-1 transcriptional activity of the long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter. Here, we demonstrate that TSA (NaBut) synergized with both ectopically expressed p50/p65 and tumor necrosis factor alpha/SF2 (TNF)-induced NF-kappaB to activate the LTR. This was confirmed for LTRs from subtypes A through G of the HIV-1 major group, with a positive correlation between the number of kappaB sites present in the LTRs and the amplitude of the TNF-TSA synergism. Mechanistically, TSA (NaBut) delayed the cytoplasmic recovery of the inhibitory protein IkappaBalpha. This coincided with a prolonged intranuclear presence and DNA binding activity of NF-kappaB. The physiological relevance of the TNF-TSA (NaBut) synergism was shown on HIV-1 replication in both acutely and latently HIV-infected cell lines. Therefore, our results open new therapeutic strategies aimed at decreasing or eliminating the pool of latently HIV-infected reservoirs by forcing viral expression.

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