Sustained induction of NF-κB is required for efficient expression of latent human immunodeficiency virus type l

Samuel A. Williams, Hakju Kwon, Lin Feng Chen, Warner C. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cells harboring infectious, but transcriptionally latent, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) proviruses currently pose an insurmountable barrier to viral eradication in infected patients. To better understand the molecular basis for HIV-1 latency, we used the J-Lat model of postintegration HIV-1 latency to assess the kinetic relationship between the induction of NF-κB and the activation of latent HIV-1 gene expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses revealed an oscillating pattern of Re1A recruitment to the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) during continuous tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) stimulation. RNA polymerase II (Pol II) recruitment to the HIV-1 LTR closely mirrored Re1A binding. Transient stimulation of cells with TNF-α for 15 min induced only a single round of RelA and RNA Pol II binding and failed to induce robust expression of latent HIV-1. Efficient formation of elongated HIV-1 transcripts required sustained induction by NF-κB, which promoted de novo synthesis of Tat. Cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) and serine-2-phosphorylated RNA Pol II were rapidly recruited to the HIV-1 LTR after NF-κB induction; however, these elongating polymerase complexes were progressively dephosphorylated in the absence of Tat. Okadaic acid promoted sustained serine-2 phosphorylation of the C-terminal domain of RNA Pol II and stimulated efficient transcriptional elongation and HIV-1 expression in the absence of Tat. These findings underscore important differences between NF-κB and Tat stimulation of RNA Pol II elongation. While NF-κB binding to the HIV-1 LTR induces serial waves of efficient RNA Pol II initiation, elongation is impaired by the action of an okadaic acid-sensitive phosphatase that dephosphorylates the C-terminal domain of RNA Pol II. Conversely, the action of this phosphatase is overcome in the presence of Tat, promoting very efficient RNA Pol II elongation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6043-6056
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of virology
Volume81
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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