To identify the pathways involved in HIV-1 modification of cellular gene expression, chronically infected U937 cells were screened by mRNA differential display. A chimeric transcript consisting of the 3′ end of the LTR of a HIV-1 provirus, followed by 3.7 kb of cellular RNA was identified suggesting that long readthrough transcription might be one of the mechanisms by which gene expression could be modified in individual infected cells. Such a phenomenon may also be the first step towards the potential transduction of cellular sequences. Furthermore, the mRNA encoding for the transcription factor Egr-1 was detected as an over-represented transcript in infected cells. Northern blot analysis confirmed the increase of Egr-1 mRNA content in both HIV-1 infected promonocytic U937 cells and T cell lines such as Jurkat and CEM. Interestingly a similar increase of Egr-1 mRNA has previously been reported to occur in HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 infected T cell lines. Despite the consistant increase in the level of Egr-1 mRNA, the amount of the encoded protein did not appear to be modified in HIV-1 infected cells, suggesting an increased turn over of the protein in chronically infected cells.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 1999
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