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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Transient induction of cyclin T1 during human macrophage differentiation regulates human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Tat transactivation function.

The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Tat protein is essential for viral replication and stimulates transcription of the integrated provirus by recruiting the kinase complex TAK/P-TEFb, composed of cyclin T1 (CycT1) and Cdk9, to the viral TAR RNA element. TAK/P-TEFb phosphorylates the RNA polymerase II complex and stimulates transcriptional elongation. In this report, we investigated the regulation of TAK/P-TEFb in primary human macrophages, a major target cell of HIV infection. While Cdk9 levels remained constant, CycT1 protein expression in freshly isolated monocytes was very low, increased early during macrophage differentiation, and, unexpectedly, decreased to very low levels after about 1 week in culture. The kinase activity of TAK/P-TEFb paralleled the changes in CycT1 protein expression. RNA analysis indicated that the transient induction of CycT1 protein expression involves a posttranscriptional mechanism. In transient transfection assays, the ability of Tat to transactivate the HIV long terminal repeat (LTR) in the late differentiated macrophages was greatly diminished relative to its ability to transactivate the HIV LTR in early differentiated cells, strongly suggesting that CycT1 is limiting for Tat function in late differentiated macrophages. Interestingly, lipopolysaccharide, a component of the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria, reinduced CycT1 expression late in macrophage differentiation. These results raise the possibility that regulation of CycT1 expression may be involved in establishing latent infection in macrophages and that opportunistic infection may reactivate the virus by inducing CycT1 expression.[1]


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