Inhibitors of histone deacetylases: correlation between isoform specificity and reactivation of HIV type 1 (HIV-1) from latently infected cells

Kelly Huber, Geneviève Doyon, Joseph Plaks, Elizabeth Fyne, John W Mellors, Nicolas Sluis-Cremer
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2011 June 24, 286 (25): 22211-8
Deacetylation of histone proteins at the HIV type 1 (HIV-1) long terminal repeat (LTR) by histone deactylases (HDACs) can promote transcriptional repression and virus latency. As such, HDAC inhibitors (HDACI) could be used to deplete reservoirs of persistent, quiescent HIV-1 proviral infection. However, the development of HDACI to purge latent HIV-1 requires knowledge of the HDAC isoforms contributing to viral latency and the development of inhibitors specific to these isoforms. In this study, we identify the HDACs responsible for HIV-1 latency in Jurkat J89GFP cells using a chemical approach that correlates HDACI isoform specificity with their ability to reactivate latent HIV-1 expression. We demonstrate that potent inhibition or knockdown of HDAC1, an HDAC isoform reported to drive HIV-1 into latency, was not sufficient to de-repress the viral LTR. Instead, we found that inhibition of HDAC3 was necessary to activate latent HIV-1. Consistent with this finding, we identified HDAC3 at the HIV-1 LTR by chromatin immunoprecipitation. Interestingly, we show that valproic acid is a weak inhibitor of HDAC3 (IC(50) = 5.5 mm) relative to HDAC1 (IC(50) = 170 μm). Because the total therapeutic concentration of valproic acid ranges from 275 to 700 μm in adults, these data may explain why this inhibitor has no effect on the decay of latent HIV reservoirs in patients. Taken together, our study suggests an important role for HDAC3 in HIV-1 latency and, importantly, describes a chemical approach that can readily be used to identify the HDAC isoforms that contribute to HIV-1 latency in other cell types.

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