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J Virol. 2005 Nov;79(21):13735-46.

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Vpr interacts with antiapoptotic mitochondrial protein HAX-1.

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Molecular Virology Section, Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Maryland 20892-0460, USA.


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 viral protein R (Vpr) is required for viral pathogenesis and has been implicated in T-cell apoptosis through its activation of caspase 3 and caspase 9 and perturbation of mitochondrial membrane potential. To understand better Vpr-mitochondria interaction, we report here the identification of antiapoptotic mitochondrial protein HAX-1 as a novel Vpr target. We show that Vpr and HAX-1 physically associate with each other. Overexpression of Vpr in cells dislocates HAX-1 from its normal residence in mitochondria and creates mitochondrion instability and cell death. Conversely, overexpression of HAX-1 suppressed the proapoptotic activity of Vpr.

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