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J Virol. 1999 Dec;73(12):9899-907.

Activation of the PAK-related kinase by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Nef in primary human peripheral blood lymphocytes and macrophages leads to phosphorylation of a PIX-p95 complex.

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Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10016, USA.


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Nef enhances virus replication in both primary T lymphocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages. This enhancement phenotype has been linked to the ability of Nef to modulate the activity of cellular kinases. We find that despite the reported high-affinity interaction between Nef and the Src kinase Hck in vitro, a Nef-Hck interaction in the context of HIV-1-infected primary macrophages is not detectable. However, Nef binding and activation of the PAK-related kinase and phosphorylation of its substrate could be readily detected in both infected primary T lymphocytes and macrophages. Furthermore, we show that this substrate is a complex composed of the recently characterized PAK interacting partner PIX (PAK-interacting guanine nucleotide exchange factor) and its tightly associated p95 protein. PAK and PIX-p95 appear to be differentially activated and phosphorylated depending on the intracellular environment in which nef is expressed. These results identify the PIX-p95 complex as a novel effector of Nef in primary cells and suggest that the regulation of the PAK signaling pathway may differ in T cells and macrophages.

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