Alternate NF-κB-independent signaling reactivation of latent HIV-1 provirus

Chiara Acchioni, Anna Lisa Remoli, Giulia Marsili, Marta Acchioni, Ilenia Nardolillo, Roberto Orsatti, Stefania Farcomeni, Enrico Palermo, Edvige Perrotti, Maria Letizia Barreca, Stefano Sabatini, Silvia Sandini, Cristina Parolin, Rongtuan Lin, Alessandra Borsetti, John Hiscott, Marco Sgarbanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Current combination antiretroviral therapies (cART) are unable to eradicate HIV-1 from infected individuals because of the establishment of proviral latency in long-lived cellular reservoirs. The shock-and-kill approach aims to reactivate viral replication from the latent state (shock) using latency-reversing agents (LRAs), followed by the elimination of reactivated virus-producing cells (kill) by specific therapeutics. The NF-κB RelA/p50 heterodimer has been characterized as an essential component of reactivation of the latent HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR). Nevertheless, prolonged NF-κB activation contributes to the development of various autoimmune, inflammatory, and malignant disorders. In the present study, we established a cellular model of HIV-1 latency in J-Lat CD4+ T cells that stably expressed the NF-κB superrepressor IκB-α 2NΔ4 and demonstrate that conventional treatments with bryostatin-1 and hexamethylenebisacetamide (HMBA) or ionomycin synergistically reactivated HIV-1 from latency, even under conditions where NF-κB activation was repressed. Using specific calcineurin phosphatase, p38, and MEK1/MEK2 kinase inhibitors or specific short hairpin RNAs, c-Jun was identified to be an essential factor binding to the LTR enhancer κB sites and mediating the combined synergistic reactivation effect. Furthermore, acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), a potent inhibitor of the NF-κB activator kinase IκB kinase β (IKK-β), did not significantly diminish reactivation in a primary CD4+ T central memory (TCM) cell latency model. The present work demonstrates that the shock phase of the shock-and-kill approach to reverse HIV-1 latency may be achieved in the absence of NF-κB, with the potential to avoid unwanted autoimmune- and or inflammation-related side effects associated with latency-reversing strategies. IMPORTANCE The shock-and-kill approach consists of the reactivation of HIV-1 replication from latency using latency-reversing agents (LRAs), followed by the elimination of reactivated virus-producing cells. The cellular transcription factor NF-κB is considered a master mediator of HIV-1 escape from latency induced by LRAs. Nevertheless, a systemic activation of NF-κB in HIV-1-infected patients resulting from the combined administration of different LRAs could represent a potential risk, especially in the case of a prolonged treatment. We demonstrate here that conventional treatments with bryostatin-1 and hexamethylenebisacetamide (HMBA) or ionomycin synergistically reactivate HIV-1 from latency, even under conditions where NF-κB activation is repressed. Our study provides a molecular proof of concept for the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, like aspirin, capable of inhibiting NF-κB in patients under combination antiretroviral therapy during the shock-and-kill approach, to avoid potential autoimmune and inflammatory disorders that can be elicited by combinations of LRAs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-519
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume93
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2019

Keywords

  • Aspirin
  • C-Jun
  • HIV-1
  • Kill
  • LRA
  • NF-κB
  • Shock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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