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Virology. 1995 Dec 20;214(2):379-86.

Interferon treatment inhibits virus replication in HIV-1- and SIV-infected CD4+ T-cell lines by distinct mechanisms: evidence for decreased stability and aberrant processing of HIV-1 proteins.

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Regional Primate Research Center, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98185, USA.


We have examined the effects of interferon (IFN)-alpha/beta on HIV-1 and SIV replication in CD4+ T-cell lines. To enable us to examine these effects on a single cycle of virus replication, cells were synchronously infected with HIV-1 LAI or SIV mac251. Cell lines included MT4 cells which were responsive to IFN and, as controls, C8166 cells which failed to respond to interferon treatment. Similar to previous reports, we found that replication of both HIV-1 and SIV was markedly inhibited in responsive MT4 cell lines treated with IFN. No such decreases were observed in HIV-1-infected, IFN-treated C8166 cells. Levels of both intracellular and extracellular viral antigens decreased in both HIV-1- and SIV-infected MT4 cells treated with IFN. Whereas steady state levels of viral-specific RNAs dramatically declined in SIV-infected cells, no such decrease was observed in IFN-treated HIV-1-infected cells. In accordance with these data, the rate of viral protein synthesis did not significantly change in HIV-1-infected, IFN-treated MT-4 cells. Western blot analysis of extracts prepared from IFN-treated HIV-1-infected cells revealed a decreased accumulation of most HIV-1-specific glycoproteins and proteins with the exception of the pr55 gag precursor. Pulse-chase experiments confirmed the enhanced stability of pr55 in IFN-treated cells, but also unexpectedly demonstrated the accelerated and quantitative processing of the p26 precursor (p24 capsid [CA] plus p2) to the final processed p24 (CA) polypeptide. These data, taken together, suggest that IFN deregulated viral protein processing and caused reduced protein stability in HIV-1-infected cells while inhibiting an earlier stage of replication in SIV-infected cells.

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