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1.  Genetic Variation and HIV-Associated Neurologic Disease 
Advances in virus research  2013;87:183-240.
HIV-associated neurologic disease continues to be a significant complication in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy. A substantial subset of the HIV-infected population shows impaired neuropsychological performance as a result of HIV-mediated neuroinflammation and eventual central nervous system (CNS) injury. CNS compartmentalization of HIV, coupled with the evolution of genetically isolated populations in the CNS, is responsible for poor prognosis in patients with AIDS, warranting further investigation and possible additions to the current therapeutic strategy. This chapter reviews key advances in the field of neuropathogenesis and studies that have highlighted how molecular diversity within the HIV genome may impact HIV-associated neurologic disease. We also discuss the possible functional implications of genetic variation within the viral promoter and possibly other regions of the viral genome, especially in the cells of monocyte–macrophage lineage, which are arguably key cellular players in HIV-associated CNS disease.
doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-407698-3.00006-5
PMCID: PMC4074542  PMID: 23809924
2.  Functional properties of the HIV-1 long terminal repeat containing single-nucleotide polymorphisms in Sp site III and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein site I 
Virology Journal  2014;11:92.
Background
HIV-1 gene expression is driven by the long terminal repeat (LTR), which contains many binding sites shown to interact with an array of host and viral factors. Selective pressures within the host as well as the low fidelity of reverse transcriptase lead to changes in the relative prevalence of genetic variants within the HIV-1 genome, including the LTR, resulting in viral quasispecies that can be differentially regulated and can potentially establish niches within specific cell types and tissues.
Methods
Utilizing flow cytometry and electromobility shift assays, specific single-nucleotide sequence polymorphisms (SNPs) were shown to alter both the phenotype of LTR-driven transcription and reactivation. Additional studies also demonstrated differential loading of transcription factors to probes derived from the double-variant LTR as compared to probes from the wild type.
Results
This study has identified specific SNPs within CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP) site I and Sp site III (3 T, C-to-T change at position 3, and 5 T, C-to-T change at position 5 of the binding site, respectively) that alter LTR-driven gene transcription and may alter the course of viral latency and reactivation. The HIV-1 LAI LTRs containing the SNPs of interest were coupled to a plasmid encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP), and polyclonal HIV-1 LTR-GFP stable cell lines utilizing bone marrow progenitor, T, and monocytic cell lines were constructed and utilized to explore the LTR phenotype associated with these genotypic changes.
Conclusions
Although the 3 T and 5 T SNPs have been shown to be low-affinity binding sites, the fact that they can still result in effective HIV-1 LTR-driven gene expression, particularly within the TF-1 cell line, has suggested that the low binding site affinities associated with the 3 T C/EBP site I and 5 T Sp site III are potentially compensated for by the interaction of nuclear factor-κB with its corresponding binding sites under selected physiological and cellular conditions. Additionally, tumor necrosis factor-α and Tat can enhance basal transcription of each SNP-specific HIV-1 LTR; however, differential regulation of the LTR is both SNP- and cell type-specific.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-11-92
PMCID: PMC4047001  PMID: 24886416
HIV-1 genetics; Viral transcription; Integration; Viral latency; Single-nucleotide polymorphisms; C/EBP; Sp
3.  CCAAT Enhancer Binding Protein and Nuclear Factor of Activated T Cells Regulate HIV-1 LTR via a Novel Conserved Downstream Site in Cells of the Monocyte-Macrophage Lineage 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88116.
Transcriptional control of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) promoter, the long terminal repeat (LTR), is achieved by interactions with cis-acting elements present both upstream and downstream of the start site. In silico transcription factor binding analysis of the HIV-1 subtype B LTR sequences revealed a potential downstream CCAAT enhancer binding protein (C/EBP) binding site. This binding site (+158 to+172), designated DS3, was found to be conserved in 67% of 3,858 unique subtype B LTR sequences analyzed in terms of nucleotide sequence as well as physical location in the LTR. DS3 was found to be well represented in other subtypes as well. Interestingly, DS3 overlaps with a previously identified region that bind members of the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) family of proteins. NFATc2 exhibited a higher relative affinity for DS3 as compared with members of the C/EBP family (C/EBP α and β). DS3 was able to compete efficiently with the low-affinity upstream C/EBP binding site I with respect to C/EBP binding, suggesting utilization of both NFAT and C/EBP. Moreover, cyclosporine A treatment, which has been shown to prevent dephosphorylation and nuclear translocation of NFAT isoforms, resulted in enhanced C/EBPα binding. The interactions at DS3 were also validated in an integrated HIV-1 LTR in chronically infected U1 cells. A binding knockout of DS3 demonstrated reduced HIV-1 LTR-directed transcription under both basal and interleukin-6-stimulated conditions only in cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage cells and not in cells of T-cell origin. Thus, the events at DS3 positively regulate the HIV-1 promoter in cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088116
PMCID: PMC3925103  PMID: 24551078
4.  Deployment of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protein arsenal: combating the host to enhance viral transcription and providing targets for therapeutic development 
The Journal of General Virology  2012;93(Pt 6):1151-1172.
Despite the success of highly active antiretroviral therapy in combating human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, the virus still persists in viral reservoirs, often in a state of transcriptional silence. This review focuses on the HIV-1 protein and regulatory machinery and how expanding knowledge of the function of individual HIV-1-coded proteins has provided valuable insights into understanding HIV transcriptional regulation in selected susceptible cell types. Historically, Tat has been the most studied primary transactivator protein, but emerging knowledge of HIV-1 transcriptional regulation in cells of the monocyte–macrophage lineage has more recently established that a number of the HIV-1 accessory proteins like Vpr may directly or indirectly regulate the transcriptional process. The viral proteins Nef and matrix play important roles in modulating the cellular activation pathways to facilitate viral replication. These observations highlight the cross talk between the HIV-1 transcriptional machinery and cellular activation pathways. The review also discusses the proposed transcriptional regulation mechanisms that intersect with the pathways regulated by microRNAs and how development of the knowledge of chromatin biology has enhanced our understanding of key protein–protein and protein–DNA interactions that form the HIV-1 transcriptome. Finally, we discuss the potential pharmacological approaches to target viral persistence and enhance effective transcription to purge the virus in cellular reservoirs, especially within the central nervous system, and the novel therapeutics that are currently in various stages of development to achieve a much superior prognosis for the HIV-1-infected population.
doi:10.1099/vir.0.041186-0
PMCID: PMC3755519  PMID: 22422068
5.  Impact of Tat Genetic Variation on HIV-1 Disease 
Advances in Virology  2012;2012:123605.
The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) promoter or long-terminal repeat (LTR) regulates viral gene expression by interacting with multiple viral and host factors. The viral transactivator protein Tat plays an important role in transcriptional activation of HIV-1 gene expression. Functional domains of Tat and its interaction with transactivation response element RNA and cellular transcription factors have been examined. Genetic variation within tat of different HIV-1 subtypes has been shown to affect the interaction of the viral transactivator with cellular and/or viral proteins, influencing the overall level of transcriptional activation as well as its action as a neurotoxic protein. Consequently, the genetic variability within tat may impact the molecular architecture of functional domains of the Tat protein that may impact HIV pathogenesis and disease. Tat as a therapeutic target for anti-HIV drugs has also been discussed.
doi:10.1155/2012/123605
PMCID: PMC3414192  PMID: 22899925

Results 1-5 (5)