alexa Productive HIV-1 infection of primary CD4+ T cells induces mitochondrial membrane permeabilization leading to a caspase-independent cell death.


Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals

Author(s): Petit F, Arnoult D, Lelivre JD, Moutouhde Parseval L, Hance AJ,

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Abstract We have explored in vitro the mechanism by which human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1) induces cell death of primary CD4+ T cells in conditions of productive infection. Although HIV-1 infection primed phytohemagglutinin-activated CD4+ T cells for death induced by anti-CD95 antibody, T cell death was not prevented by a CD95-Fc decoy receptor, nor by decoy receptors of other members of the TNFR family (TNFR1/R2, TRAILR1/R2/OPG, TRAMP) or by various blocking antibodies, suggesting that triggering of death receptors by their cognate ligands is not involved in HIV-induced CD4 T cell death. HIV-1 induced CD4 T cell shrinkage, cell surface exposure of phosphatidylserine, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (Deltapsim), and mitochondrial release of cytochrome c and apoptosis-inducing factor. A typical apoptotic phenotype (nuclear chromatin condensation and fragmentation) only occurred in around half of the dying cells. Treatment with benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone, a broad spectrum caspase inhibitor, prevented nuclear chromatin condensation and fragmentation in HIV-infected CD4+ T cells and in a cell-free system (in which nuclei were incubated with cytoplasmic extracts from the HIV-infected CD4+ T cells). Nevertheless, benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone did not prevent mitochondrial membrane potential loss and cell death, suggesting that caspases are dispensable for HIV-mediated cell death. Our findings suggest a major role of the mitochondria in the process of CD4 T cell death induced by HIV, in which targeting of Bax to the mitochondria may be involved. This article was published in J Biol Chem and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals

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