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Doria M.,Laboratory of Immunoinfectivology
Current HIV Research | Year: 2011

The regulatory Nef protein of HIV-1/2 and SIV is required for high viral replication and disease progression, thus represents a very attractive therapeutic target. Because of the multi-functional nature of the Nef protein, it is unclear which of the several Nef activities are most crucial in vivo for the outcome of viral infection. Some findings indicate that the CD4 down-regulation activity of Nef is critical for viral infectivity as well as for progression to immunodeficiency. On the other hand, more recent evidences suggest that CD4 targeting and stimulation of infectivity are two separate functions of Nef. This controversial issue will be discussed here in the light of the latest findings. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers.

Kleinman C.L.,McGill University | Doria M.,Laboratory of Immunoinfectivology | Orecchini E.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Giuliani E.,Laboratory of Immunoinfectivology | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

HIV-1 preferentially infects CD4+ T cells, causing fundamental changes that eventually lead to the release of new viral particles and cell death. To investigate in detail alterations in the transcriptome of the CD4+ T cells upon viral infection, we sequenced polyadenylated RNA isolated from Jurkat cells infected or not with HIV-1. We found a marked global alteration of gene expression following infection, with an overall trend toward induction of genes, indicating widespread modification of the host biology. Annotation and pathway analysis of the most deregulated genes showed that viral infection produces a down-regulation of genes associated with the nucleolus, in particular those implicated in regulating the different steps of ribosome biogenesis, such as ribosomal RNA (rRNA) transcription, pre-rRNA processing, and ribosome maturation. The impact of HIV-1 infection on genes involved in ribosome biogenesis was further validated in primary CD4+ T cells. Moreover, we provided evidence by Northern Blot experiments, that host pre-rRNA processing in Jurkat cells might be perturbed during HIV-1 infection, thus strengthening the hypothesis of a crosstalk between nucleolar functions and viral pathogenesis. © 2014 Kleinman et al.

Matusali G.,Laboratory of Immunoinfectivology | D'Ettorre G.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Vullo V.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Buonomini A.R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | And 4 more authors.
FASEB Journal | Year: 2013

In humans, the interaction of the natural killer group 2 member D (NKG2D)-activating receptor on natural killer (NK) and CD8+ T cells with its major histocompatibility complex class I-related chain (MIC) and UL16 binding protein (ULBP) ligands (NKG2DLs) promotes recognition and elimination of stressed cells, such as tumor or infected cells. Here, we investigated the capacity of HIV-1 to modulate NKG2DL expression and escape NGK2D-mediated immunosurveillance. In CD4+ T lymphocytes, both cell surface expression and release of MICA, MICB, and ULBP2 were up-regulated >2-fold by HIV-1 infection. In HIV-infected CD4+ T lymphocytes or Jurkat T-cell lines, increased shedding of soluble NKG2DLs (sNKG2DLs) was impaired by a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor (MMPI). Moreover, naive HIV+ patients displayed increased plasma sMICA and sULBP2 levels and reduced NKG2D expression on NK and CD8+ T cells compared to patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) or healthy donors. In individual patients, HAART uptake resulted in the drop of sNKG2DL and recovery of NKG2D expression. Finally, sNKG2DLs in patients' plasma down-regulated NKG2D on NK and CD8 + T cells and impaired NKG2D-mediated cytotoxicity of NK cells. Thus, NKG2D detuning by sNKG2DLs may promote HIV-1 immune evasion and compromise host resistance to opportunistic infections, but HAART and MMPI have the potential to avoid such immune dysfunction. © FASEB.

Giuliani E.,Laboratory of Immunoinfectivology | Vassena L.,Laboratory of Immunoinfectivology | Cerboni C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Doria M.,Laboratory of Immunoinfectivology
Current Drug Targets | Year: 2016

Increasing lines of evidence indicate that NKG2D, an activating receptor of natural killer (NK) and CD8+ T cells, plays an important role in immune responses against HIV-1. Through its ability to recognize a diverse array of ligands (NKG2DLs) induced by cell ‘stress’ such as viral infection, NKG2D delivers activating and co-stimulatory signals resulting in cytotoxicity and release of cytokines. Therefore, HIV-1 and other viruses have evolved clever mechanisms to counteract NKG2Ddependent immune responses. While, on one hand, the HIV-1 Vpr protein up-regulates NKG2DLs expression by activating the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway, other viral proteins (Nef and Vif) have developed the capacity to reduce NKG2DLs expression levels. In addition, recent evidences suggest that HIV-1-infected CD4+ T cells may release NKG2DLs, particularly MICA, in soluble form, a phenomenon that has the potential to down-modulate NKG2D on circulating lymphocytes and allow evasion of NKG2D-mediated immune responses. Indeed, despite being controversial, lower NKG2D expression was found on both NK and CD8+ T cells in HIV-1-infected patients. This review discusses recent advances in the understanding of how HIV-1 affects the NKG2D/NKG2DLs system, with a special focus on virus-induced release of soluble NKG2DLs and its functional implications for the immune surveillance of the infected host. © 2016 Bentham Science Publishers.

Vassena L.,Laboratory of Immunoinfectivology | Giuliani E.,Laboratory of Immunoinfectivology | Koppensteiner H.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Bolduan S.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Virology | Year: 2015

Leukocyte recirculation between blood and lymphoid tissues is required for the generation and maintenance of immune responses against pathogens and is crucially controlled by the L-selectin (CD62L) leukocyte homing receptor. CD62L has adhesion and signaling functions and initiates the capture and rolling on the vascular endothelium of cells entering peripheral lymph nodes. This study reveals that CD62L is strongly downregulated on primary CD4+ T lymphocytes upon infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Reduced cell surface CD62L expression was attributable to the Nef and Vpu viral proteins and not due to increased shedding via matrix metalloproteases. Both Nef and Vpu associated with and sequestered CD62L in perinuclear compartments, thereby impeding CD62L transport to the plasma membrane. In addition, Nef decreased total CD62L protein levels. Importantly, infection with wild-type, but not Nef- and Vpu-deficient, HIV-1 inhibited the capacity of primary CD4+ T lymphocytes to adhere to immobilized fibronectin in response to CD62L ligation. Moreover, HIV-1 infection impaired the signaling pathways and costimulatory signals triggered in primary CD4+ T cells by CD62L ligation. We propose that HIV-1 dysregulates CD62L expression to interfere with the trafficking and activation of infected T cells. Altogether, this novel HIV-1 function could contribute to virus dissemination and evasion of host immune responses. © 2015, American Society for Microbiology.

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