Author(s): Yoon CH, Kim SY, Byeon SE, Jeong Y, Lee J,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Tumor suppressor p53 has been suggested to be a host restriction factor against HIV-1 replication, but the detailed molecular mechanism has remained elusive for decades. Here, we demonstrate that p53-mediated HIV-1 suppression is attributed to double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-dependent protein kinase (PKR)-mediated HIV-1 trans-activator (Tat) phosphorylation and inactivation. p53 silencing significantly enhanced HIV-1 replication in infected cells. Ectopic expression of p53 suppressed Tat activity, which was rescued by PKR silencing. In addition, ectopic expression of PKR abolished Tat activity in p53(-/-) and eIF2α(CA) cells. Finally, we found that HIV-1 infection activates p53, followed by the induction and activation of PKR. PKR directly interacted with HIV-1 Tat and phosphorylates the first exon of Tat exclusively at five Ser/Thr residues (T23, T40, S46, S62, and S68), which inhibits Tat-mediated provirus transcription in three critical steps: (i) phosphorylation near the arginine-rich motif (ARM) inhibits Tat translocation into the nucleus, (ii) accumulation of Tat phosphorylation abolishes Tat-Tat-responsive region (TAR) binding, and (iii) Tat phosphorylation at T23 and/or T40 obliterates the Tat-cyclin T1 interaction. These five Ser/Thr sites on Tat were highly conserved in HIV-1 strains prevalent in Europe and the United States. Taken together, our findings indicate that p53-derived host restriction of HIV-1 replication is likely attributable, at least in part, to a noncanonical p53/PKR/Tat phosphorylation and inactivation pathway in HIV-1 infection and AIDS pathogenesis. IMPORTANCE: HIV-1-mediated disease progression to AIDS lasts for years to decades after primary infection. Host restriction and associated viral latency have been studied for several decades. p53 has been suggested as an important host restriction factor against HIV-1 replication. However, the detailed molecular mechanism is still unclear. In the present study, we found that the p53-mediated HIV-1 restriction is attributed to a p53/PKR/Tat-inactivation pathway. HIV-1 infection activated p53, which subsequently induced PKR expression and activation. PKR directly phosphorylated Tat exclusively at five specific Ser/Thr residues, which was accompanied by significant suppression of HIV-1 replication. Accumulation of Tat phosphorylation at these sites inhibited Tat function by blocking Tat nuclear localization, Tat binding to TAR, and Tat-cyclin T1 interaction. Our findings provide a better understanding of the p53-derived host restriction mechanism against HIV-1 replication in AIDS pathogenesis and may contribute to further research focusing on the investigation of potential therapeutic targets for HIV-1. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in Virology & Mycology