Eric Devroe

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, United States

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Publications (10)40.86 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) integrase (IN) functions in cells within the context of high molecular weight preintegration complexes (PICs). Lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF) transcriptional coactivator/p75 and hepatoma-derived growth factor related protein 2 (HRP2) tightly bind to HIV-1 IN and stimulate its integration activity in vitro. Here, we show that each recombinant host cell factor efficiently reconstitutes the in vitro activity of HIV-1 PICs disrupted for functional integration by pre-treatment with high concentrations of salt. Mutational analysis reveals that both the IN-binding and DNA-binding activities of LEDGF/p75 contribute to functional PIC reconstitution. We also investigate a role(s) for these proteins in HIV-1 infection by using short-interfering RNA. HIV-1 infection was essentially unaffected in HeLa-P4 cells depleted for LEDGF/p75, HRP2, or both proteins. We conclude that cells knocked-out for LEDGF/p75 and/or HRP2 will be useful genetic tools to address the roles of these host cell factors in HIV-1 replication.
    Virology 04/2006; 346(2):415-26. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mammalian genomes encode two related serine-threonine kinases, nuclear Dbf2 related (NDR)1 and NDR2, which are homologous to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Dbf2 kinase. Recently, a yeast genetic screen implicated the Dbf2 kinase in Ty1 retrotransposition. Since several virion-incorporated kinases regulate the infectivity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), we speculated that the human NDR1 and NDR2 kinases might play a role in the HIV-1 life cycle. Here we show that the NDR1 and NDR2 kinases were incorporated into HIV-1 particles. Furthermore, NDR1 and NDR2 were cleaved by the HIV-1 protease (PR), both within virions and within producer cells. Truncation at the PR cleavage site altered NDR2 subcellular localization and inhibited NDR1 and NDR2 enzymatic activity. These studies identify two new virion-associated host cell enzymes and suggest a novel mechanism by which HIV-1 alters the intracellular environment of human cells.
    Virology 02/2005; 331(1):181-9. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Integrase has been implicated in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) nuclear import. Integrase analyses, however, can be complicated by the pleiotropic nature of mutations: whereas class I mutants are integration defective, class II mutants display additional assembly and/or reverse transcription defects. We previously determined that HIV-1(V165A), originally reported as defective for nuclear import, was a class II mutant. Here we analyzed mutants containing changes in other putative nuclear localization signals, including (186)KRK(188)/(211)KELQKQITK(219) and Cys-130. Previous work established HIV-1(K186Q), HIV-1(Q214L/Q216L), and HIV-1(C130G) as replication defective, but phenotypic classification was unclear and nuclear import in nondividing cells was not addressed. Consistent with previous reports, most of the bipartite mutants studied here were replication defective. These mutants as well as HIV-1(V165A) synthesized reduced cDNA levels, but a normal fraction of mutant cDNA localized to dividing and nondividing cell nuclei. Somewhat surprisingly, recombinant class II mutant proteins were catalytically active, and class II Vpr-integrase fusion proteins efficiently complemented class I mutant virus. Since a class I Vpr-integrase mutant efficiently complemented class II mutant viruses under conditions in which class II Vpr-integrases failed to function, we conclude that classes I and II define two distinct complementation groups and suggest that class II mutants are primarily defective at a postnuclear entry step of HIV-1 replication. HIV-1(C130G) was also defective for reverse transcription, but Vpr-integrase(C130G) did not efficiently complement class I mutant HIV-1. Since HIV-1(C130A) grew like the wild type, we conclude that Cys-130 is not essential for replication and speculate that perturbation of integrase structure contributed to the pleiotropic HIV-1(C130G) phenotype.
    Journal of Virology 01/2005; 78(23):12735-46. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human lens epithelium-derived growth factor/transcriptional co-activator p75 (LEDGF/p75) protein was recently identified as a binding partner for HIV-1 integrase (IN) in human cells. In this work, we used biochemical and bioinformatic approaches to define the domain organization of LEDGF/p75. Using limited proteolysis and deletion mutagenesis we show that the protein contains a pair of evolutionarily conserved domains, assuming about 35% of its sequence. Whereas the N-terminal PWWP domain had been recognized previously, the second domain is novel. It is comprised of approximately 80 amino acid residues and is both necessary and sufficient for binding to HIV-1 IN. Strikingly, the integrase binding domain (IBD) is not unique to LEDGF/p75, as a second human protein, hepatoma-derived growth factor-related protein 2 (HRP2), contains a homologous sequence. LEDGF/p75 and HRP2 IBDs avidly bound HIV-1 IN in an in vitro GST pull-down assay and each full-length protein potently stimulated HIV-1 IN activity in vitro. LEDGF/p75 and HRP2 are predicted to share a similar domain organization and have an evident evolutionary and likely functional relationship.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2004; 279(47):48883-92. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Integration, catalyzed by the viral integrase (IN) protein, is a crucial step in the life cycle of all retroviruses including human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Although purified HIV-1 IN protein is sufficient to catalyze the DNA breakage and joining steps of integration in the absence of any other protein factor, a number of studies indicate that cellular proteins participate in the integration process in cells. These host cell proteins have been proposed to act through binding the pre-integrated viral cDNA substrate, by directly interacting with the IN protein, and/or by repairing the single-stranded DNA gaps that occur at viral/chromosomal DNA junctions during integration. In this paper we summarize the identification and potential roles of specific cell factors in HIV-1 integration. We also present experimental results of human cell proteins that coimmunoprecipitated with HIV-1 IN following its expression in HeLa cells and discuss these results in light of the previously-identified integration cofactors.
    Frontiers in Bioscience 10/2004; 9:3187-208. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human NDR1 (nuclear Dbf2-related) is a widely expressed nuclear serine-threonine kinase that has been implicated in cell proliferation and/or tumor progression. Here we present molecular characterization of the human NDR2 serine-threonine kinase, which shares approximately 87% sequence identity with NDR1. NDR2 is expressed in most human tissues with the highest expression in the thymus. In contrast to NDR1, NDR2 is excluded from the nucleus and exhibits a punctate cytoplasmic distribution. The differential localization of NDR1 and NDR2 suggests that each kinase may serve distinct functions. Thus, to identify proteins that interact with NDR1 or NDR2, epitope-tagged kinases were immunoprecipitated from Jurkat T-cells. Two uncharacterized proteins that are homologous to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae kinase regulators Mob1 and Mob2 were identified. We demonstrate that NDR1 and NDR2 partially colocalize with human Mob2 in HeLa cells and confirm the NDR-Mob interactions in cell extracts. Interestingly, NDR1 and NDR2 form stable complexes with Mob2, and this association dramatically stimulates NDR1 and NDR2 catalytic activity. In summary, this work identifies a unique class of human kinase-activating subunits that may be functionally analagous to cyclins.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2004; 279(23):24444-51. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Eric Devroe, Pamela A Silver
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    ABSTRACT: The ability of small interfering RNA (siRNA) to mediate gene-specific post-transcriptional silencing in mammalian cells will undoubtedly revolutionise functional genomics, as well as drug target identification and validation. Furthermore, there is widespread excitement that siRNA itself might prove useful in the clinical setting. For those wishing to develop siRNA as a therapeutic agent, the most difficult obstacle to overcome will be delivery. Recently, several breakthroughs have highlighted viruses as excellent vehicles for siRNA delivery. Retroviruses, the transgene-delivery vector of choice for many experimental gene therapy studies, have been engineered to deliver and stably express therapeutic siRNA within cells, both in vitro and in vivo. These findings are important milestones for the development of siRNA as a gene therapy for treatment of viral infections, cancer, autoimmune syndromes and numerous genetic disorders. This review describes the development of retroviral siRNA vectors, highlights proof-of-concept experiments demonstrating their therapeutic efficacy and explores therapeutic targets particularly suitable for retroviral-mediated gene silencing.
    Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy 04/2004; 4(3):319-27. · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 integrase protein has karyophilic properties; that is, it localizes to the cell nucleus according to a range of assays. As an essential component of the preintegration complex, it has been suggested that the karyophilic properties of integrase might facilitate transport of the preintegration complex through the nuclear pore complexes of nondividing cells. However, no experiments have satisfactorily identified a nuclear localization signal within integrase. In this work, we investigated the karyophilic properties of integrase in intact cells with hopes of identifying a genuine transferable nuclear localization signal. Our results confirm that integrase tightly binds chromosomal DNA in vivo. However, our analysis determined that large integrase fusion proteins are unable to access the nucleus, indicating that integrase might lack a transferable nuclear localization signal. In addition, we present several lines of evidence to indicate that DNA binding might facilitate integrase nuclear accumulation. Furthermore, our data indicate integrase is degraded in the cytoplasm by a proteasome-dependent process, an event that probably contributes to the apparent nuclear accumulation of integrase. These results provide new insight into human immunodeficiency virus type 1 integrase intracellular dynamics.
    Journal of Cell Science 12/2003; 116(Pt 21):4401-8. · 5.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Retroviral replication requires the integration of reverse-transcribed viral cDNA into a cell chromosome. A key barrier to forming the integrated provirus is the nuclear envelope, and numerous regions in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) have been shown to aid the nuclear localization of viral preintegration complexes (PICs) in infected cells. One region in integrase (IN), composed of Val-165 and Arg-166, was reportedly essential for HIV-1 replication and nuclear localization in all cell types. In this study we confirmed that HIV-1(V165A) and HIV-1(R166A) were replication defective and that less mutant viral cDNA localized to infected cell nuclei. However, we present three lines of evidence that argue against a specific role for Val-165 and Arg-166 in PIC nuclear import. First, results of transient transfections revealed that V165A FLAG-tagged IN and green fluorescent protein-IN fusions carrying either V165A or R166A predominantly localized to cell nuclei. Second, two different strains of previously described class II IN mutant viruses displayed similar nuclear entry profiles to those observed for HIV-1(V165A) and HIV-1(R166A), suggesting that defective nuclear import may be a common phenotype of replication-defective IN mutant viruses. Third, V165A and R166A mutants were defective for in vitro integration activity, when assayed both as PICs isolated from infected T-cells and as recombinant IN proteins purified from Escherichia coli. Based on these results, we conclude that HIV-1(V165A) and HIV-1(R166A) are pleiotropic mutants primarily defective for IN catalysis and that Val-165 and Arg-166 do not play a specific role in the nuclear localization of HIV-1 PICs in infected cells.
    Journal of Virology 12/2002; 76(21):10598-607. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    Eric Devroe, Pamela A Silver
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    ABSTRACT: The ability of transfected synthetic small interfering (si) RNAs to suppress the expression of specific transcripts has proved a useful technique to probe gene function in mammalian cells. However, high production costs limit this technology's utility for many laboratories and experimental situations. Recently, several DNA-based plasmid vectors have been developed that direct transcription of small hairpin RNAs, which are processed into functional siRNAs by cellular enzymes. Although these vectors provide certain advantages over chemically synthesized siRNAs, numerous disadvantages remain including merely transient siRNA expression and low and variable transfection efficiency. To overcome several limitations of plasmid-based siRNA, a retroviral siRNA delivery system was developed based on commerically available vectors. As a pilot study, a vector was designed to target the human Nuclear Dbf2-Related (NDR) kinase. Cells infected with the anti-NDR siRNA virus dramatically downregulate NDR expression, whereas control viruses have no effect on total NDR levels. To confirm and extend these findings, an additional virus was constructed to target a second gene, transcriptional coactivator p75. The experiments presented here demonstrate that retroviruses are efficient vectors for delivery of siRNA into mammalian cells. Retrovirus-delivered siRNA provides significant advancement over previously available methods by providing efficient, uniform delivery and immediate selection of stable "knock-down" cells. This development should provide a method to rapidly assess gene function in established cell lines, primary cells, or animals.
    BMC Biotechnology 09/2002; 2:15. · 2.17 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

697 Citations
40.86 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002–2006
    • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
      • Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS
      Boston, MA, United States
    • University of Massachusetts Boston
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2002–2005
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
      Boston, MA, United States