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Virology. 1996 Oct 1;224(1):18-24.

Induction of apoptosis by calmodulin-dependent intracellular Ca2+ elevation in CD4+ cells expressing gp 160 of HIV.

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Department of Virology, Kyushu University, Fukuoke, Japan.


Human CD4+ cell clones expressing either gp160 or gp120 of HIV-1 under the transcriptional control of an inducible promoter were used to examine the role of Ca2+ signalling in the induction of apoptosis by envelope glycoproteins. Singlecell killing with apoptosis was induced in the cells expressing gp 160 while no such apoptosis was found in the cells expressing gp 120. An increase of intracellular Ca2+ was found in the gp 160-expressing cells but not in the gp 120-expressing cells as determined by Intracellular Ca2+ imaging analysis before the appearance of DNA fragmentation. W7, a calmodulin antagonist, blocked the elevation of Ca2+ as well as the resultant DNA fragmentation, which thus implies that the calmodulin-dependent intracellular Ca2+ release system is first activated by gp 160 and thereafter apoptosis takes place. The above results thus indicate that Ca2+ signalling plays a crucial role in the apoptosis accompanying the single-cell death induced by gp 160 in CD4+ cells.

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