Scientific reports 2017 05 247(1) 2384 doi 10.1038/s41598-017-02468-8
HIV-1 Tat protein induces the production of CXCL8 chemokine in a TLR4/MD2 and PKC dependent manner. The objective of this study was to understand whether these two pathways were distinct or constituted a single common pathway, and to determine the nature of the PKC isoforms involved and their interrelation with the activation of NF-κB and CXCL8 gene product expression. Here, we show that Tat-induced CXCL8 production is essentially dependent on the activation of PKC delta isoform, as shown a) by the capacity of PKC delta dominant negative (DN), and Rottlerin, a selective PKC delta pharmacological inhibitor, to inhibit Tat-induced CXCL8 production and b) by the ability of the constitutively active (CAT) isoform of PKC delta to induce CXCL8 production in a HEK cell line in the absence of Tat stimulation. The finding that comparable amounts of CXCL8 were produced following stimulation with either Tat protein, PKC-delta CAT transfection, or both, argue for the implication of one common pathway where PKC delta is activated downstream of TLR4 recruitment and leads to the activation of NF-κB. Altogether, our results underline the crucial role of PKC delta isoform in activating gene expression of CXCL8, a cytokine largely implicated in the physiopathology of HIV-1 infection.