Epidemiological studies suggest a correlation between severity of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and selenium deficiency, indicating a protective role for this anti-oxidant during HIV infection. Here we demonstrate that thioredoxin reductase-1 (TR1), a selenium-containing pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxidoreductase that reduces protein disulfides to free thiols, negatively regulates the activity of the HIV-1 encoded transcriptional activator, Tat, in human macrophages. We used a small interfering RNA approach as well as a high affinity substrate of TR1, ebselen, to demonstrate that Tat-dependent transcription and HIV-1 replication were significantly increased in human macrophages when TR1 activity was reduced. The increase in HIV-1 replication in TR1 small interfering RNA-treated cells was independent of the redox-sensitive transcription factor, NF-κB. These studies indicate that TR-1 acts as a negative regulator of Tat-dependent transcription. Furthermore, in vitro biochemical assays with recombinant Tat protein confirmed that TR1 targets two disulfide bonds within the Cys-rich motif required for efficient HIV-1 transactivation. Increasing TR1 expression along with other selenoproteins by supplementing with selenium suggests a potential inexpensive adjuvant therapy for HIV/AIDS patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology