Clinical epigenetics 2018 02 1310() 20 doi 10.1186/s13148-018-0448-5
Integration of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) into the host genome causes global disruption of the chromatin environment. The abundance level of various chromatin-modifying enzymes produces these alterations and affects both the provirus and cellular gene expression. Here, we investigated potential changes in enzyme expression and global DNA methylation in chronically infected individuals with HIV-1 and compared these changes with non-HIV infected individuals. We also evaluated the effect of viral replication and degree of disease progression over these changes.
Individuals with HIV-1 had a significant surge in the expression of DNA and histone methyltransferases (DNMT3A and DNMT3B, SETDB1, SUV39H1) compared with non-infected individuals, with the exception of PRMT6, which was downregulated. Some histone deacetylases (HDAC2 and HDAC3) were also upregulated in patients with HIV. Among individuals with HIV-1 with various degrees of progression and HIV control, the group of treated patients with undetectable viremia showed greater differences with the other two groups (untreated HIV-1 controllers and non-controllers). These latter two groups exhibited a similar behavior between them. Of interest, the overexpression of genes that associate with viral protein Tat (such as SETDB1 along with DNMT3A and HDAC1, and SIRT-1) was more prevalent in treated patients. We also observed elevated levels of global DNA methylation in individuals with HIV-1 in an inverse correlation with the CD4/CD8 ratio.
The current study shows an increase in chromatin-modifying enzymes and remodelers and in global DNA methylation in patients with chronic HIV-1 infection, modulated by various levels of viral control and progression.