Opportunistic infections, common in HIV-1-infected patients, increase HIV replication; however, the intracellular signaling mechanisms involved are not clearly known. We have shown that Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), TLR4, and TLR9 mediate microbial Ag-induced HIV-long terminal repeat (HIV-LTR) trans-activation and HIV-1 replication, and that LPS-induced HIV-LTR trans-activation is mediated through myeloid differentiation adapter protein. Recently, Toll-IL-1R domain-containing adapter protein (TIRAP) has been identified as an adapter molecule that mediates responses to TLR2 and TLR4 ligands, and TIRAP was suggested to provide signaling specificity for different TLRs. Rac1, a small GTP-binding protein that is activated upon LPS stimulation of macrophages, activates phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and Akt and leads to NF-κB activation. The roles of Rac1 and TIRAP in LPS activation of HIV replication is not known. In the present study we show that LPS stimulation of human microvessel endothelial cells leads to Rac1 activation. Constitutively active Rac1 (Rac1V12) simulated the effect of LPS to activate HIV-LTR, whereas the expression of dominant negative Rac1 (Rac1N17) partially blocked LPS-induced HIV-LTR trans-activation. Rac1V12-induced HIV-LTR activation was independent of myeloid differentiation adapter protein, and dominant negative TIRAP blocked Rac1V12-induced HIV-LTR trans-activation. In this study we show for the first time that activation of Rac1 leads to HIV-LTR trans-activation, and this is mediated through TIRAP. Together these results underscore the importance of Rac1 and TIRAP in TLR4 activation of HIV replication and help delineate the signaling pathways induced by TLRs to mediate microbial Ag-induced HIV replication and HIV pathogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy