Autophagy plays important roles during innate and adaptive immune responses to pathogens, including virus infection. Viruses develop ways to subvert the pathway for their own benefit in order to escape restriction by autophagy, leading to increased viral replication and/or control over apoptosis of their host cells. The effects of HIV infection on the autophagic pathway in host cells have been little documented. Using the susceptible Jurkat cell line and CD4(+) T cells, we studied the relationship of HIV-1 and -2 infections with autophagy. We found that HIV infections significantly increase transcription of ULK1, a member of the autophagy-initiated complex. Two ubiquitin-like conjugation systems, the Atg12 conjugation system and the microtubule-associated protein L chain 3 (LC3) conjugation system that control the elongation of the autophore to form the autophagosome, were activated after HIV infection, with upregulation of Atg12-Atg5 complex and increased transcription of LC3, and formed more autophagosome in infected cells detected using an EM assay. We also found that HIV-1 induced more autophagic death in Jurkat cells relative to HIV-2, and the inhibition of autophagy with 3MA and Beclin-1 knockdown decreased HIV-1 replication significantly. The results indicate that HIV is able to induce the autophagic signaling pathway in HIV-infected host cells, which may be required for HIV infection-mediated apoptotic cell death.
Cellular Signalling 03/2012; 24(7):1414-9. DOI:10.1016/j.cellsig.2012.02.016 · 4.47 Impact Factor