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1.  Selective HDAC Inhibition for the Disruption of Latent HIV-1 Infection 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e102684.
Selective histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have emerged as a potential anti-latency therapy for persistent human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. We utilized a combination of small molecule inhibitors and short hairpin (sh)RNA-mediated gene knockdown strategies to delineate the key HDAC(s) to be targeted for selective induction of latent HIV-1 expression. Individual depletion of HDAC3 significantly induced expression from the HIV-1 promoter in the 2D10 latency cell line model. However, depletion of HDAC1 or −2 alone or in combination did not significantly induce HIV-1 expression. Co-depletion of HDAC2 and −3 resulted in a significant increase in expression from the HIV-1 promoter. Furthermore, concurrent knockdown of HDAC1, −2, and −3 resulted in a significant increase in expression from the HIV-1 promoter. Using small molecule HDAC inhibitors of differing selectivity to ablate the residual HDAC activity that remained after (sh)RNA depletion, the effect of depletion of HDAC3 was further enhanced. Enzymatic inhibition of HDAC3 with the selective small-molecule inhibitor BRD3308 activated HIV-1 transcription in the 2D10 cell line. Furthermore, ex vivo exposure to BRD3308 induced outgrowth of HIV-1 from resting CD4+ T cells isolated from antiretroviral-treated, aviremic HIV+ patients. Taken together these findings suggest that HDAC3 is an essential target to disrupt HIV-1 latency, and inhibition of HDAC2 may also contribute to the effort to purge and eradicate latent HIV-1 infection.
PMCID: PMC4138023  PMID: 25136952
2.  Expression of latent human immunodeficiency type 1 is induced by novel and selective histone deacetylase inhibitors 
AIDS (London, England)  2009;23(14):10.1097/QAD.0b013e32832ec1dc.
A family of histone deacetylases (HDACs) mediates chromatin remodeling, and repression of gene expression. Deacetylation of histones within the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) by HDACs plays a key role in the maintenance of latency, whereas acetylation of histones about the LTR is linked to proviral expression and escape of HIV from latency. Global HDAC inhibition may adversely affect host gene expression, leading to cellular toxicities. Potent inhibitors selective for HDACs that maintain LTR repression could be ideal antilatency therapeutics.
We investigated the ability of selective HDAC inhibitors to de-repress the HIV-1 LTR in both a cell line model of latency and in resting CD4+ T cells isolated from patients who were aviremic on antiretroviral therapy (ART).
We found that inhibition of class I HDACs increased acetylation of histones at the LTR, but that LTR chromatin was unaffected by class II HDAC inhibitors. In a latently infected cell line, inhibitors selective for class I HDACs were more efficient activators of the LTR than inhibitors that target class II HDACs. Class I HDAC inhibitors were strikingly efficient inducers of virus outgrowth from resting CD4+ T cells of aviremic patients, whereas HIV was rarely recovered from patient’s cells exposed to class II HDAC inhibitors.
Further development of selective HDAC inhibitors as part of a clinical strategy to target persistent HIV infection is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3809117  PMID: 19590405
histone deacetylase; HIV; latency; long terminal repeat; resting CD4+ T cells
3.  siRNA Screening of a Targeted Library of DNA Repair Factors in HIV Infection Reveals a Role for Base Excision Repair in HIV Integration 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(3):e17612.
Host DNA repair enzymes have long been assumed to play a role in HIV replication, and many different DNA repair factors have been associated with HIV. In order to identify DNA repair pathways required for HIV infection, we conducted a targeted siRNA screen using 232 siRNA pools for genes associated with DNA repair. Mapping the genes targeted by effective siRNA pools to well-defined DNA repair pathways revealed that many of the siRNAs targeting enzymes associated with the short patch base excision repair (BER) pathway reduced HIV infection. For six siRNA pools targeting BER enzymes, the negative effect of mRNA knockdown was rescued by expression of the corresponding cDNA, validating the importance of the gene in HIV replication. Additionally, mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) lacking expression of specific BER enzymes had decreased transduction by HIV-based retroviral vectors. Examining the role BER enzymes play in HIV infection suggests a role for the BER pathway in HIV integration.
PMCID: PMC3063162  PMID: 21448273
4.  The Base Excision Repair Pathway Is Required for Efficient Lentivirus Integration 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(3):e17862.
An siRNA screen has identified several proteins throughout the base excision repair (BER) pathway of oxidative DNA damage as important for efficient HIV infection. The proteins identified included early repair factors such as the base damage recognition glycosylases OGG1 and MYH and the late repair factor POLß, implicating the entire BER pathway. Murine cells with deletions of the genes Ogg1, Myh, Neil1 and Polß recapitulate the defect of HIV infection in the absence of BER. Defective infection in the absence of BER proteins was also seen with the lentivirus FIV, but not the gammaretrovirus MMLV. BER proteins do not affect HIV infection through its accessory genes nor the central polypurine tract. HIV reverse transcription and nuclear entry appear unaffected by the absence of BER proteins. However, HIV integration to the host chromosome is reduced in the absence of BER proteins. Pre-integration complexes from BER deficient cell lines show reduced integration activity in vitro. Integration activity is restored by addition of recombinant BER protein POLß. Lentiviral infection and integration efficiency appears to depend on the presence of BER proteins.
PMCID: PMC3063173  PMID: 21448280
5.  Expression of Latent HIV Induced by the Potent HDAC Inhibitor Suberoylanilide Hydroxamic Acid 
Histone deacetylases (HDACs) act on histones within the nucleosome-bound promoter of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) to maintain proviral latency. HDAC inhibition leads to promoter expression and the escape of HIV from latency. We evaluated the ability of the potent inhibitor recently licensed for use in oncology, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA; Vorinostat), selective for Class I HDACs, to induce HIV promoter expression in cell lines and virus production from the resting CD4+ T cells of antiretroviral-treated, aviremic HIV-infected patients. In J89, a Jurkat T cell line infected with a single HIV genome encoding the enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) within the HIV genome, SAHA induced changes at nucleosome 1 of the HIV promoter in chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays in concert with EGFP expression. In the resting CD4+ T cells of antiretroviral-treated, aviremic HIV-infected patients clinically achievable exposures to SAHA induced virus outgrowth ex vivo. These results suggest that potent, selective HDAC inhibitors may allow improved targeting of persistent proviral HIV infection, and define parameters for in vivo studies using SAHA.
PMCID: PMC2853863  PMID: 19239360
6.  A Limited Group of Class I Histone Deacetylases Acts To Repress Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Expression▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;83(10):4749-4756.
Silencing of the integrated human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) genome in resting CD4+ T cells is a significant contributor to the persistence of infection, allowing the virus to evade both immune detection and pharmaceutical attack. Nonselective histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors are capable of inducing expression of quiescent HIV-1 in latently infected cells. However, potent global HDAC inhibition can induce host toxicity. To determine the specific HDACs that regulate HIV-1 transcription, we evaluated HDAC1 to HDAC11 RNA expression and protein expression and compartmentalization in the resting CD4+ T cells of HIV-1-positive, aviremic patients. HDAC1, -3, and -7 had the highest mRNA expression levels in these cells. Although all HDACs were detected in resting CD4+ T cells by Western blot analysis, HDAC5, -8, and -11 were primarily sequestered in the cytoplasm. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, we detected HDAC1, -2, and -3 at the HIV-1 promoter in Jurkat J89GFP cells. Targeted inhibition of HDACs by small interfering RNA demonstrated that HDAC2 and HDAC3 contribute to repression of HIV-1 long terminal repeat expression in the HeLa P4/R5 cell line model of latency. Together, these results suggest that HDAC inhibitors specific for a limited number of class I HDACs may offer a targeted approach to the disruption of persistent HIV-1 infection.
PMCID: PMC2682072  PMID: 19279091
7.  Host Cell Factors in HIV Replication: Meta-Analysis of Genome-Wide Studies 
PLoS Pathogens  2009;5(5):e1000437.
We have analyzed host cell genes linked to HIV replication that were identified in nine genome-wide studies, including three independent siRNA screens. Overlaps among the siRNA screens were very modest (<7% for any pairwise combination), and similarly, only modest overlaps were seen in pairwise comparisons with other types of genome-wide studies. Combining all genes from the genome-wide studies together with genes reported in the literature to affect HIV yields 2,410 protein-coding genes, or fully 9.5% of all human genes (though of course some of these are false positive calls). Here we report an “encyclopedia” of all overlaps between studies (available at, which yielded a more extensively corroborated set of host factors assisting HIV replication. We used these genes to calculate refined networks that specify cellular subsystems recruited by HIV to assist in replication, and present additional analysis specifying host cell genes that are attractive as potential therapeutic targets.
PMCID: PMC2682202  PMID: 19478882
8.  Hit selection with false discovery rate control in genome-scale RNAi screens 
Nucleic Acids Research  2008;36(14):4667-4679.
RNA interference (RNAi) is a modality in which small double-stranded RNA molecules (siRNAs) designed to lead to the degradation of specific mRNAs are introduced into cells or organisms. siRNA libraries have been developed in which siRNAs targeting virtually every gene in the human genome are designed, synthesized and are presented for introduction into cells by transfection in a microtiter plate array. These siRNAs can then be transfected into cells using high-throughput screening (HTS) methodologies. The goal of RNAi HTS is to identify a set of siRNAs that inhibit or activate defined cellular phenotypes. The commonly used analysis methods including median ± kMAD have issues about error rates in multiple hypothesis testing and plate-wise versus experiment-wise analysis. We propose a methodology based on a Bayesian framework to address these issues. Our approach allows for sharing of information across plates in a plate-wise analysis, which obviates the need for choosing either a plate-wise or experimental-wise analysis. The proposed approach incorporates information from reliable controls to achieve a higher power and a balance between the contribution from the samples and control wells. Our approach provides false discovery rate (FDR) control to address multiple testing issues and it is robust to outliers.
PMCID: PMC2504311  PMID: 18628291
9.  c-Myc and Sp1 Contribute to Proviral Latency by Recruiting Histone Deacetylase 1 to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Promoter▿  
Journal of Virology  2007;81(20):10914-10923.
Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors such as valproic acid (VPA) induce the expression of quiescent proviral human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and may deplete proviral infection in vivo. To uncover novel molecular mechanisms that maintain HIV latency, we sought cellular mRNAs whose expression was diminished in resting CD4+ T cells of HIV-1-infected patients exposed to VPA. c-Myc was prominent among genes markedly downregulated upon exposure to VPA. c-Myc expression repressed HIV-1 expression in chronically infected cell lines. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays revealed that c-Myc and HDAC1 are coordinately resident at the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter and absent from the promoter after VPA treatment in concert with histone acetylation, RNA polymerase II recruitment, and LTR expression. Sequential ChIP assays demonstrated that c-Myc, Sp1, and HDAC1 coexist in the same DNA-protein complex at the HIV promoter. Short hairpin RNA inhibition of c-Myc reduces both c-Myc and HDAC1 occupancy, blocks c-Myc repression of Tat activation, and increases LTR expression. These results expand the understanding of mechanisms that recruit HDAC and maintain the latency of HIV-1, suggesting novel therapeutic approaches against latent proviral HIV infection.
PMCID: PMC2045540  PMID: 17670825

Results 1-9 (9)