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Open Virol J. 2008;2:1-7. doi: 10.2174/1874357900802010001.

HIV Protease Cleavage of Procaspase 8 is Necessary for Death of HIV-Infected Cells.

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1
Division of Infectious Diseases, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Abstract

Numerous host and viral factors are capable of causing death of HIV infected cells, uninfected bystander cells, or both. We assessed the relevance of HIV protease in infected cell killing by mutating its obligate substrate for death, procaspase 8. VSV pseudotyped HIV infection of cells expressing WT caspase 8 resulted in apoptotic cell death and generation of the HIV protease specific cleavage product of procaspase 8, casp8p41. Conversely, both cell death and casp8p41 production were inhibited in cells expressing procaspase 8 engineered to be resistant to HIV protease cleavage. Lymph nodes from HIV-infected patients with ongoing viral replication also selectively expressed casp8p41, which colocalized with both infected and apoptotic cells. HIV protease cleavage of procaspase 8 appears to be a necessary event for infected cell killing, which is responsible for infected cell death within lymphoid tissues from HIV-infected patients.

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