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In vitro modeling of HIV proviral activity in microglia.

In vitro modeling of HIV proviral activity in microglia.
Author Information (click to view)

Campbell LA, Richie CT, Zhang Y, Heathward EJ, Coke LM, Park EY, Harvey BK,


Campbell LA, Richie CT, Zhang Y, Heathward EJ, Coke LM, Park EY, Harvey BK, (click to view)

Campbell LA, Richie CT, Zhang Y, Heathward EJ, Coke LM, Park EY, Harvey BK,

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The FEBS journal 2017 11 08() doi 10.1111/febs.14293

Abstract

Microglia, the resident macrophages of the brain, play a key role in the pathogenesis of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) due to their productive infection by HIV. This results in the release of neurotoxic viral proteins and pro-inflammatory compounds which negatively affect the functionality of surrounding neurons. Because models of HIV infection within the brain are limited, we aimed to create a novel microglia cell line with an integrated HIV provirus capable of recreating several hallmarks of HIV infection. We utilized clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 gene editing technology and integrated a modified HIV provirus into CHME-5 immortalized microglia to create HIV-NanoLuc CHME-5. In the modified provirus, the Gag-Pol region is replaced with the coding region for NanoLuciferase (NanoLuc), which allows for the rapid assay of HIV long terminal repeat activity using a luminescent substrate, while still containing the necessary genetic material to produce established neurotoxic viral proteins (e.g. tat, nef, gp120). We confirmed that HIV-NanoLuc CHME-5 microglia express NanoLuc, along with the HIV viral protein Nef. We subsequently exposed these cells to a battery of experiments to modulate the activity of the provirus. Proviral activity was enhanced by treating the cells with pro-inflammatory factors lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and tumor necrosis factor alpha and by overexpressing the viral regulatory protein Tat. Conversely, genetic modification of the toll-like receptor-4 gene by CRISPR/Cas9 reduced LPS-mediated proviral activation, and pharmacological application of NF-κB inhibitor sulfasalazine similarly diminished proviral activity. Overall, these data suggest that HIV-NanoLuc CHME-5 may be a useful tool in the study of HIV-mediated neuropathology and proviral regulation.

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