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Synergistic activation of HIV-1 expression by deacetylase inhibitors and prostratin: implications for treatment of latent infection

Sophie Reuse, Miriam Calao, Kabamba Kabeya, Allan Guiguen, Jean-Stéphane Gatot, Vincent Quivy, Caroline Vanhulle, Aurélia Lamine, Dolores Vaira, Dominique Demonte, Valérie Martinelli, Emmanuelle Veithen, Thomas Cherrier, Véronique Avettand, Solène Poutrel, Jacques Piette, Yvan de Launoit, Michel Moutschen, Arsène Burny, Christine Rouzioux, Stéphane De Wit, Georges Herbein, Olivier Rohr, Yves Collette, Olivier Lambotte, Nathan Clumeck, Carine Van Lint
PloS One 2009 June 30, 4 (6): e6093
19564922
The persistence of transcriptionally silent but replication-competent HIV-1 reservoirs in Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART)-treated infected individuals, represents a major hurdle to virus eradication. Activation of HIV-1 gene expression in these cells together with an efficient HAART has been proposed as an adjuvant therapy aimed at decreasing the pool of latent viral reservoirs. Using the latently-infected U1 monocytic cell line and latently-infected J-Lat T-cell clones, we here demonstrated a strong synergistic activation of HIV-1 production by clinically used histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) combined with prostratin, a non-tumor-promoting nuclear factor (NF)- kappaB inducer. In J-Lat cells, we showed that this synergism was due, at least partially, to the synergistic recruitment of unresponsive cells into the expressing cell population. A combination of prostratin+HDACI synergistically activated the 5' Long Terminal Repeat (5'LTR) from HIV-1 Major group subtypes representing the most prevalent viral genetic forms, as shown by transient transfection reporter assays. Mechanistically, HDACIs increased prostratin-induced DNA-binding activity of nuclear NF-kappaB and degradation of cytoplasmic NF-kappaB inhibitor, IkappaBalpha . Moreover, the combined treatment prostratin+HDACI caused a more pronounced nucleosomal remodeling in the U1 viral promoter region than the treatments with the compounds alone. This more pronounced remodeling correlated with a synergistic reactivation of HIV-1 transcription following the combined treatment prostratin+HDACI, as demonstrated by measuring recruitment of RNA polymerase II to the 5'LTR and both initiated and elongated transcripts. The physiological relevance of the prostratin+HDACI synergism was shown in CD8(+)-depleted peripheral blood mononuclear cells from HAART-treated patients with undetectable viral load. Moreover, this combined treatment reactivated viral replication in resting CD4(+) T cells isolated from similar patients. Our results suggest that combinations of different kinds of proviral activators may have important implications for reducing the size of latent HIV-1 reservoirs in HAART-treated patients.

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