HIV-1 tat induces unfolded protein response and endoplasmic reticulum stress in astrocytes and causes neurotoxicity through glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) activation and aggregation

Yan Fan, Johnny J. He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

HIV-1 Tat is a major culprit for HIV/neuroAIDS. One of the consistent hallmarks of HIV/neuroAIDS is reactive astrocytes or astrocytosis, characterized by increased cytoplasmic accumulation of the intermediate filament glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Wehave shown that that Tat induces GFAP expression in astrocytes and that GFAP activation is indispensable for astrocyte-mediated Tat neurotoxicity. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not known. In this study, we showed that Tat expression or GFAP expression led to formation of GFAP aggregates and induction of unfolded protein response (UPR) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in astrocytes. In addition, we demonstrated that GFAP up-regulation and aggregation in astrocytes were necessary but also sufficient for UPR/ER stress induction in Tat-expressing astrocytes and for astrocyte-mediated Tat neurotoxicity. Importantly, we demonstrated that inhibition of Tator GFAP-induced UPR/ER stress by the chemical chaperone 4-phenylbutyrate significantly alleviated astrocyte-mediated Tat neurotoxicity in vitro and in the brain of Tat-expressing mice. Taken together, these results show that HIV-1 Tat expression leadstoUPR/ER stress inastrocytes, which in turn contributes to astrocyte-mediated Tat neurotoxicity, and raise the possibility of developing HIV/neuroAIDS therapeutics targeted at UPR/ER stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22819-22829
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume291
Issue number43
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Oct 2016

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