HIV-1 Vpr protein activates the NF-κB pathway to promote G2/M cell cycle arrest

Abstract

Viral protein R (Vpr) plays an important role in the replication and pathogenesis of Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Some of the various functions attributed to Vpr, including the induction of G2/M cell cycle arrest, activating the NF-κB pathway, and promoting viral reverse transcription, might be interrelated. To test this hypothesis, a panel of Vpr mutants were investigated for their ability to induce G2/M arrest and to activate the NF-κB pathway. The results showed that the Vpr mutants that failed to activate NF-κB also lost the activity to induce G2/M arrest, which suggests that inducing G2/M arrest via Vpr depends at least partially on the activation of NF-κB. This latter possibility is supported by data showing that knocking down the key factors in the NF-κB pathway–p65, RelB, IKKα, or IKKβ–partially rescued the G2/M arrest induced by Vpr. Our results suggest that the NF-κB pathway is probably involved in Vpr-induced G2/M cell cycle arrest.

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Correspondence to Wentao Qiao.

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ORCID: 0000-0003-0449-694X

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Liang, Z., Liu, R., Lin, Y. et al. HIV-1 Vpr protein activates the NF-κB pathway to promote G2/M cell cycle arrest. Virol. Sin. 30, 441–448 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12250-015-3654-8

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Keywords

  • Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)
  • viral protein R (Vpr)
  • NF-κB
  • G2/M arrest