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1.  New Clues to Understanding HIV Nonprogressors: Low Cholesterol Blocks HIV Trans Infection 
mBio  2014;5(3):e01396-14.
A small percentage of HIV-infected subjects (2 to 15%) are able to control disease progression for many years without antiretroviral therapy. Years of intense studies of virologic and immunologic mechanisms of disease control in such individuals yielded a number of possible host genes that could be responsible for the preservation of immune functions, from immune surveillance genes, chemokines, or their receptors to anti-HIV restriction factors. A recent mBio paper by Rappocciolo et al. (G. Rappocciolo, M. Jais, P. Piazza, T. A. Reinhart, S. J. Berendam, L. Garcia-Exposito, P. Gupta, and C. R. Rinaldo, mBio 5:e01031-13, 2014) describes another potential factor controlling disease progression: cholesterol levels in antigen-presenting cells. In this commentary, we provide a brief background of the role of cholesterol in HIV infection, discuss the results of the study by Rappocciolo et al., and present the implications of their findings.
PMCID: PMC4056555  PMID: 24917601
2.  A Cell-Impermeable Cyclosporine A Derivative Reduces Pathology in a Mouse Model of Allergic Lung Inflammation 
Although the main regulators of leukocyte trafficking are chemokines, another family of chemotactic agents is cyclophilins. Intracellular cyclophilins function as peptidyl-protyl cis-trans isomerases and are targets of the immunosuppressive drug, cyclosporine A (CsA). Cyclophilins can also be secreted in response to stress factors, with elevated levels of extracellular cyclophilins detected in several inflammatory diseases. Extracellular cyclophilins are known to have potent chemotactic properties, suggesting they might contribute to inflammatory responses by recruiting leukocytes into tissues. The objective of the current study was to determine the impact of blocking cyclophilin activity using a cell-impermeable derivative of CsA, MM218, to specifically target extracellular pools of cyclophilins. We show that treatment with this compound in a mouse model of allergic lung inflammation: 1) demonstrates up to 80% reduction in inflammation, 2) directly inhibits the recruitment of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells, and 3) works equally well when delivered at 100-fold lower doses to the airways. Our findings suggest that cell-impermeable analogs of CsA can effectively reduce inflammatory responses by targeting leukocyte recruitment mediated by extracellular cyclophilins. Specifically blocking the extracellular function(s) of cyclophilins may provide a novel approach for inhibiting the recruitment of one of the principal immune regulators of allergic lung inflammation, antigen-specific CD4+ T cells, into inflamed airways and lungs.
PMCID: PMC3603141  PMID: 21057089
3.  Analysis of viral and cellular proteins in HIV-1 reverse transcription complexes by co-immunoprecipitation 
Molecular details and temporal organization of the early (pre-integration) phase of HIV life cycle remain among the least investigated and most controversial problems in the biology of HIV. To perform reverse transcription and intracellular transport of the viral genetic material, HIV forms multimolecular complexes termed reverse transcription complexes (RTCs). Analysis of the kinetic of reverse transcription and nuclear import of RTCs, as well as assessment of the changes in their protein content in the course of reverse transcription and nuclear translocation is a necessary step in understanding mechanisms of cytoplasmic maturation and nuclear import of HIV-1 RTCs. Here, we review methods allowing to quantitatively assess the dynamics of the maturation of HIV-1 RTCs and transformations of RTC protein composition associated with nuclear import of the complexes.
PMCID: PMC3600983  PMID: 19020822
HIV-1; reverse transcription complex; cell fractionation; real-time PCR; RTC protein composition
4.  Blocking Cyclophilins in the Chronic Phase of Asthma Reduces the Persistence of Leukocytes and Disease Reactivation 
Allergic asthma is characterized by acute influxes of proinflammatory leukocytes in response to allergen stimulation, followed by quiescent (chronic) periods between allergen challenges, during which sustained, low-level inflammation is evident. These chronic phases of disease are thought to be mediated by populations of leukocytes persisting within airways and tissues. The lack of any in situ proliferation by these cells, along with their limited lifespan, suggests that a continual recruitment of leukocytes from the circulation is needed to maintain disease chronicity. The mechanisms regulating this persistent recruitment of leukocytes are unknown. Although classic leukocyte-attracting chemokines are highly elevated after acute allergen challenge, they return to baseline levels within 24 hours, and remain close to undetectable during the chronic phase. In the present study, we investigated whether an alternative family of chemoattractants, namely, extracellular cyclophilins, might instead play a role in regulating the recruitment and persistence of leukocytes during chronic asthma, because their production is known to be more sustained during inflammatory responses. Using a new murine model of chronic allergic asthma, elevated concentrations of extracellular cyclophilin A, but not classic chemokines, were indeed detected during the chronic phase of asthma. Furthermore, blocking the activity of cyclophilins during this phase reduced the number of persisting leukocytes by up to 80%. This reduction was also associated with a significant inhibition of acute disease reactivation upon subsequent allergen challenge. These findings suggest that blocking the function of cyclophilins during the chronic phase of asthma may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for regulating disease chronicity and severity.
PMCID: PMC3262693  PMID: 21493785
chronic asthma; cyclophilins; cyclosporine A; NIM811
5.  Cyclophilin A cooperates with MIP-2 to augment neutrophil migration 
Chemokines contribute to inflammatory responses by inducing leukocyte migration and extravasation. In addition, chemoattractants other than classical chemokines can also be present. Many chemokines have been demonstrated to cooperate, leading to an augmentation in leukocyte recruitment and providing a potential role for the presence of multiple chemoattractants. Extracellular cyclophilins are a group of alternative chemotactic factors, which can be highly elevated during various inflammatory responses and, as we have previously shown, can contribute significantly to neutrophil recruitment in an animal model of acute lung inflammation. In the current studies we investigated whether the most abundant extracellular cyclophilin, CypA, has the capacity to function in partnership with 2 classical chemokines known to be secreted in the same model, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-2/CXCL2 and keratinocyte chemoattractant (KC)/CXCL1.
Neutrophil migration in response to combinations of CypA and MIP-2 or CypA and KC was measured by in vitro chemotaxis assays. Biochemical responses of neutrophils incubated with the combinations of chemoattractants were determined by changes in chemokine receptor internalization and actin polymerization measured by flow cytometry, and changes in intracellular calcium mobilization measured with a calcium sensitive fluorochrome.
A combination of CypA and MIP-2, but not KC, augmented neutrophil migration. Based on the level of augmentation, the cooperation between CypA and MIP-2 appeared to be synergistic. Evidence that CypA and MIP-2 cooperate at the biochemical level was demonstrated by increases in receptor internalization, calcium mobilization, and actin polymerization.
These findings provide evidence for the capacity of extracellular cyclophilins to interact with classical chemokines, resulting in greater and more efficient leukocyte recruitment.
PMCID: PMC3218749  PMID: 22096373
chemokine; chemotaxis; inflammation
6.  A Cyclosporin Derivative Discriminates between Extracellular and Intracellular Cyclophilins** 
PMCID: PMC2940222  PMID: 19957254
cell permeability; cyclophilin; cyclosporin; immunosuppression
7.  Significantly reduced CCR5-tropic HIV-1 replication in vitro in cells from subjects previously immunized with Vaccinia Virus 
BMC Immunology  2010;11:23.
At present, the relatively sudden appearance and explosive spread of HIV throughout Africa and around the world beginning in the 1950s has never been adequately explained. Theorizing that this phenomenon may be somehow related to the eradication of smallpox followed by the cessation of vaccinia immunization, we undertook a comparison of HIV-1 susceptibility in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells from subjects immunized with the vaccinia virus to those from vaccinia naive donors.
Vaccinia immunization in the preceding 3-6 months resulted in an up to 5-fold reduction in CCR5-tropic but not in CXCR4-tropic HIV-1 replication in the cells from vaccinated subjects. The addition of autologous serum to the cell cultures resulted in enhanced R5 HIV-1 replication in the cells from unvaccinated, but not vaccinated subjects. There were no significant differences in the concentrations of MIP-1α, MIP-1β and RANTES between the cell cultures derived from vaccinated and unvaccinated subjects when measured in culture medium on days 2 and 5 following R5 HIV-1 challenge.
Since primary HIV-1 infections are caused almost exclusively by the CCR5-tropic HIV-1 strains, our results suggest that prior immunization with vaccinia virus might provide an individual with some degree of protection to subsequent HIV infection and/or progression. The duration of such protection remains to be determined. A differential elaboration of MIP-1α, MIP-1β and RANTES between vaccinated and unvaccinated subjects, following infection, does not appear to be a mechanism in the noted protection.
PMCID: PMC2881106  PMID: 20482754
8.  Extracellular Cyclophilins Contribute to the Regulation of Inflammatory Responses1 
The main regulators of leukocyte trafficking during inflammatory responses are chemokines. However, another class of recently identified chemotactic agents is extracellular cyclophilins, the proteins mostly known as receptors for the immunosuppressive drug, cyclosporine A. Cyclophilins can induce leukocyte chemotaxis in vitro and have been detected at elevated levels in inflamed tissues, suggesting that they might contribute to inflammatory responses. We recently identified CD147 as the main signaling receptor for cyclophilin A. In the current study we examined the contribution of cyclophilin-CD147 interactions to inflammatory responses in vivo using a mouse model of acute lung injury. Blocking cyclophilin-CD147 interactions by targeting CD147 (using anti-CD147 Ab) or cyclophilin (using nonimmunosuppressive cyclosporine A analog) reduced tissue neutrophilia by up to 50%, with a concurrent decrease in tissue pathology. These findings are the first to demonstrate the significant contribution of cyclophilins to inflammatory responses and provide a potentially novel approach for reducing inflammation-mediated diseases.
PMCID: PMC2862457  PMID: 15972687
9.  Novel Approach to Inhibit Asthma-Mediated Lung Inflammation Using Anti-CD147 Intervention1 
Extracellular cyclophilins have been well described as chemotactic factors for various leukocyte subsets. This chemotactic capacity is dependent upon interaction of cyclophilins with the cell surface signaling receptor CD147. Elevated levels of extracellular cyclophilins have been documented in several inflammatory diseases. We propose that extracellular cyclophilins, via interaction with CD147, may contribute to the recruitment of leukocytes from the periphery into tissues during inflammatory responses. In this study, we examined whether extracellular cyclophilin-CD147 interactions might influence leukocyte recruitment in the inflammatory disease allergic asthma. Using a mouse model of asthmatic inflammation, we show that 1) extracellular cyclophilins are elevated in the airways of asthmatic mice; 2) mouse eosinophils and CD4+ T cells express CD147, which is up-regulated on CD4+ T cells upon activation; 3) cyclophilins induce CD147-dependent chemotaxis of activated CD4+ T cells in vitro; 4) in vivo treatment with anti-CD147 mAb significantly reduces (by up to 50%) the accumulation of eosinophils and effector/memory CD4+ T lymphocytes, as well as Ag-specific Th2 cytokine secretion, in lung tissues; and 5) anti-CD147 treatment significantly reduces airway epithelial mucin production and bronchial hyperreactivity to methacholine challenge. These findings provide a novel mechanism whereby asthmatic lung inflammation may be reduced by targeting cyclophilin-CD147 interactions.
PMCID: PMC2855298  PMID: 16982929
10.  Preferential chemotaxis of activated human CD4+ T cells by extracellular cyclophilin A 
Journal of leukocyte biology  2007;82(3):613-618.
The recruitment and trafficking of leukocytes are essential aspects of the inflammatory process. Although chemokines are thought to be the main regulators of cell trafficking, extracellular cyclophilins have been shown recently to have potent chemoattracting properties for human leukocytes. Cyclophilins are secreted by a variety of cell types and are detected at high levels in tissues with ongoing inflammation. CD147 has been identified as the main signaling receptor for cyclophilin A (CypA) on human leukocytes. It is interesting that the expression of CD147 is elevated on leukocytes from inflamed tissue, suggesting a correlation among the presence of extracellular cyclophilins, CD147 expression, and inflammatory responses. Thus, cyclophilin-CD147 interactions may contribute directly to the recruitment of leukocytes into inflamed tissues. In the current studies, we show that activated human T lymphocytes express elevated levels of CD147, compared with resting T cells and that these activated T cells migrate more readily to CypA than resting cells. Furthermore, we show that unlike resting CD4+ T cells, the cyclophilin-mediated migration of activated T cells does not require interaction with heparan sulfate receptors but instead, is dependent on CD147 interaction alone. Such findings suggest that cyclophilin-CD147 interactions will be most potent when leukocytes are in an activated state, for example, during inflammatory responses. Thus, targeting cyclophilin-CD147 interactions may provide a novel approach for alleviating tissue inflammation.
PMCID: PMC2846690  PMID: 17540735
chemokines; inflammation
12.  CNI-H0294, a Nuclear Importation Inhibitor of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Genome, Abrogates Virus Replication in Infected Activated Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells 
Active nuclear importation of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 (HIV-1) preintegration complex (PIC) is required for the productive infection of nondividing cells, but it is believed to be dispensable for the infection of proliferating cells, such as activated T lymphocytes. To investigate this question, we exploited the properties of the small arylene bis (methyl ketone) compound CNI-H0294. We have previously shown that this compound associated with the HIV-1 matrix protein nuclear localization sequence and blocked binding of the HIV-1 PIC to yeast karyopherin α. CNI-H0294 abrogated nuclear importation of the HIV-1 genome in macrophages and effectively inhibited infection of nondividing cells. In this study we demonstrate that CNI-H0294 inhibits binding of the HIV-1 PIC to human karyopherin α and reduces nuclear importation of the viral genome in primary peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). We also demonstrate that CNI-H0294 inhibits acute infection of PBMC cultures in vitro with a primary isolate of HIV-1 and reduces virus replication and virus load in cultures of endogenously infected PBMCs from seropositive individuals. Thus, as for infection of nondividing, terminally differentiated macrophages, HIV-1 uses active nuclear importation of the virus genome to infect activated CD4+ T cells. These results support nuclear importation as a novel target and CNI-H0294 and its derivatives as novel compounds for therapeutic intervention in HIV infection and AIDS.
PMCID: PMC105758  PMID: 9593140

Results 1-12 (12)