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J Virol. 2010 Jul;84(13):6515-26. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02722-09. Epub 2010 Apr 14.

Caveolin-1 modulates HIV-1 envelope-induced bystander apoptosis through gp41.

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Department of Infectious Disease and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) envelope (Env)-mediated bystander apoptosis is known to cause the progressive, severe, and irreversible loss of CD4(+) T cells in HIV-1-infected patients. Env-induced bystander apoptosis has been shown to be gp41 dependent and related to the membrane hemifusion between envelope-expressing cells and target cells. Caveolin-1 (Cav-1), the scaffold protein of specific membrane lipid rafts called caveolae, has been reported to interact with gp41. However, the underlying pathological or physiological meaning of this robust interaction remains unclear. In this report, we examine the interaction of cellular Cav-1 and HIV gp41 within the lipid rafts and show that Cav-1 modulates Env-induced bystander apoptosis through interactions with gp41 in SupT1 cells and CD4(+) T lymphocytes isolated from human peripheral blood. Cav-1 significantly suppressed Env-induced membrane hemifusion and caspase-3 activation and augmented Hsp70 upregulation. Moreover, a peptide containing the Cav-1 scaffold domain sequence markedly inhibited bystander apoptosis and apoptotic signal pathways. Our studies shed new light on the potential role of Cav-1 in limiting HIV pathogenesis and the development of a novel therapeutic strategy in treating HIV-1-infected patients.

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