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Virology. 2002 Mar 15;294(2):246-55.

Interaction between Nef and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase leads to activation of p21-activated kinase and increased production of HIV.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California at San Francisco, 94143, USA.


The negative factor (Nef) is one of six accessory proteins from primate lentiviruses (HIV-1, HIV-2, and SIV). It leads to high levels of viremia and the progression to AIDS in monkeys and humans. In this study, we demonstrated that Nef from HIV-1 binds to the regulatory subunit (p85) of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K). This interaction depended on the C-terminus of p85 and Nef. Moreover, PI3K was required to activate the Nef-associated p21-activated kinase (PAK). Finally, inhibition of PI3K blocked the activation of PAK and decreased the production of viral particles to levels observed with the Nef-deleted provirus. We conclude that Nef assembles a multiprotein signaling complex which is required for the optimal replication of HIV-1.

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