Angiogenic properties of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Tat protein

Adriana Albini, Giovanni Barillari, Roberto Benelli, Robert C. Gallo, Barbara Ensoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Extracellular human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Tat protein promotes growth of spindle cells derived from AIDS-associated Kaposi sarcoma (AIDS-KS), an angioproliferative disease very frequent in HIV-1-infected individuals. Normal vascular cells, progenitors of AIDS-KS cells, proliferate in response to Tat after exposure to inflammatory cytokines, whose levels are augmented in HIV-1-infected individuals and in KS lesions. Here we show that Tat also promotes AIDS-KS and normal vascular cells to migrate and to degrade the basement membrane and stimulates endothelial cell morphogenesis on a matrix substrate. These effects are obtained at picomolar concentrations of exogenous Tat and are promoted by the treatment of the cells with the same inflammatory cytokines stimulating expression of the receptors for Tat, the integrins α5β1 and α(v)β3. Thus, under specific circumstances, Tat has angiogenic properties. As Tat and its receptors are present in AIDS-KS lesions, these data may explain some of the mechanisms by which Tat can induce angiogenesis and cooperate in the development of AIDS-KS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4838-4842
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - May 23 1995


  • AIDS
  • angiogenesis
  • Kaposi sarcoma
  • morphogenesis
  • vascular cell invasion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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