Pertussis toxin (PTX) B subunit and the nontoxic PTX mutant PT9K/129G inhibit Tat-induced TGF-β production by NK cells and TGF-β-mediated NK cell apoptosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We show that the pertussis toxin B oligomer (PTX-B), and the PTX mutant PT9K/129G, which is safely administered in vivo, inhibit both transcription and secretion of TGF-β elicited by HIV-1 Tat in NK cells. Tat-induced TGF-β mRNA synthesis is also blocked by the ERK1 inhibitor PD98059, suggesting that ERK1 is needed for TGF-β production. Moreover, Tat strongly activates the c-Jun component of the multimolecular complex AP-1, whereas TGF-β triggers c-Fos and c-Jun. Of note, treatment of NK cells with PTX-B or PT9K/129G inhibits Tat- and TGF-β-induced activation of AP-1. TGF-β enhances starvation-induced NK cell apoptosis, significantly reduces transcription of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2, and inhibits Akt phosphorylation induced by oligomerization of the triggering NK cell receptor NKG2D. All these TGF-β-mediated effects are prevented by PTX-B or PT9K/129G through a PI3K-dependent mechanism, as demonstrated by use of the specific PI3K inhibitor, LY294002. Finally, PTX-B and PT9K/129G up-regulate Bcl-x L, the isoform of Bcl-x that protects cells from starvation-induced apoptosis. It is of note that in NK cells from patients with early HIV-1 infection, mRNA expression of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL was consistently lower than that in healthy donors; interestingly, TGF-β and Tat were detected in the sera of these patients. Together, these data suggest that Tat-induced TGF-β production and the consequent NK cell failure, possibly occurring during early HIV-1 infection, may be regulated by PTX-B and PT9K/129G.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6054-6061
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume174
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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