Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Virology


Geisel School of Medicine


In contrast to CD4+ T cells, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected macrophages typically resist cell death, support viral replication, and consequently, may facilitate HIV-1 transmission. To elucidate how the virus commandeers the macrophage's intracellular machinery for its benefit, we analyzed HIV-1-infected human macrophages for virus-induced gene transcription by using multiple parameters, including cDNA expression arrays. HIV-1 infection induced the transcriptional regulation of genes associated with host defense, signal transduction, apoptosis, and the cell cycle, among which the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (CDKN1A/p21) gene was the most prominent. p21 mRNA and protein expression followed a bimodal pattern which was initially evident during the early stages of infection, and maximum levels occurred concomitant with active HIV-1 replication. Mechanistically, viral protein R (Vpr) independently regulates p21 expression, consistent with the reduced viral replication and lack of p21 upregulation by a Vpr-negative virus. Moreover, the treatment of macrophages with p21 antisense oligonucleotides or small interfering RNAs reduced HIV-1 infection. In addition, the synthetic triterpenoid and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ ligand, 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9-dien-28-oic acid (CDDO), which is known to influence p21 expression, suppressed viral replication. These data implicate p21 as a pivotal macrophage facilitator of the viral life cycle. Moreover, regulators of p21, such as CDDO, may provide an interventional approach to modulate HIV-1 replication.



Original Citation

Vázquez N, Greenwell-Wild T, Marinos NJ, Swaim WD, Nares S, Ott DE, Schubert U, Henklein P, Orenstein JM, Sporn MB, Wahl SM. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1-induced macrophage gene expression includes the p21 gene, a target for viral regulation. J Virol. 2005 Apr;79(7):4479-91. doi: 10.1128/JVI.79.7.4479-4491.2005. PMID: 15767448; PMCID: PMC1061522.