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PLoS One. 2011 Apr 12;6(4):e18589. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018589.

Serpin induced antiviral activity of prostaglandin synthetase-2 against HIV-1 replication.

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  • 1Division of Viral Pathogenesis, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.


The serine protease inhibitors (serpins) are anti-inflammatory proteins that have various functions. By screening a diverse panel of viruses, we demonstrate that the serpin antithrombin III (ATIII) has a broad-spectrum anti-viral activity for HIV-1, HCV and HSV. To investigate the mechanism of action in more detail we investigated the HIV-1 inhibition. Using gene-expression arrays we found that multiple host cell signal transduction pathways were activated by ATIII in HIV-1 infected cells but not in uninfected controls. Moreover, the signal pathways initiated by ATIII treatment, were more than 200-fold increased by the use of heparin-activated ATIII. The most up-regulated transcript in HIV-1 infected cells was prostaglandin synthetase-2 (PTGS2). Furthermore, we found that over-expression of PTGS2 reduced levels of HIV-1 replication in human PBMC. These findings suggest a central role for serpins in the host innate anti-viral response. Host factors such as PTGS2 elicited by ATIII treatment could be exploited in the development of novel anti-viral interventions.

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