Human immunodeficiency virus type-1 Tat protein induces secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor expression in African green monkey but not human cells


African monkeys are resistant to HIV-1 infection due to intrinsic restriction mechanisms found in their cells. However, although they can be infected by monkey-adapted modified HIV-1 particles that are designed to overcome known restriction factors, virus numbers drop to undetectable levels in immunocompetent animals. These results indicate the possibility of the presence of yet unidentified factor(s) that restrict HIV-1 in old-world monkey (OWM) cells after integration of the viral genome into the host cell chromosome. In the light of these findings, we hypothesized that OWMs might have evolved resistance mechanism(s) against HIV-1 by switching specific gene(s) on in response to the synthesis of viral proteins in infected cells. In an attempt to mimic post-infection status, we expressed HIV-1 Tat gene in African green monkey cells and compared the whole proteome with normal cells and identified secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), a protein with known extracellular anti-HIV-1 activity, as an over-expressed protein in the presence of HIV-1 Tat protein by 2D-PAGE and mass spectrometry analysis. We also showed that overexpression of SLPI in the presence of HIV-1 Tat was specific to monkey cells. Our results also suggest that SLPI had a previously undiscovered intracellular anti-HIV activity in addition to its extracellular activity.

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The authors would like to thank to the National Biological Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Facility, and Biotechnology and Bioengineering Research and Application Centers of Izmir Institute of Technology for their help and technical support.


The research was funded by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), Grant No.: 115S213.

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by AA, SÖ and BŞ. The first draft of the manuscript was written by AA and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Correspondence to Alper Arslanoğlu.

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Özdemir, S., Şengez, B. & Arslanoğlu, A. Human immunodeficiency virus type-1 Tat protein induces secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor expression in African green monkey but not human cells. Virus Genes (2020).

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  • African green monkey
  • HIV-1 tat
  • Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor
  • Anti-HIV-1 activity