HIV-1 Nef Targets HDAC6 to Assure Viral Production and Virus Infection

HIV-1 Nef Targets HDAC6 to Assure Viral Production and Virus Infection

Online publication: 30/10/2019 Journal: Frontiers in Microbiology


HIV Nef is a central auxiliary protein in HIV infection and pathogenesis. Our results indicate that HDAC6 promotes the aggresome/autophagic degradation of the viral polyprotein Pr55Gag to inhibit HIV-1 production. Nef counteracts this antiviral activity of HDAC6 by inducing its degradation and subsequently stabilizing Pr55Gag and Vif viral proteins. Nef appears to neutralize HDAC6 by an acidic/endosomal-lysosomal processing and does not need the downregulation function, since data obtained with the non-associated cell-surface Nef-G2A mutant – the cytoplasmic location of HDAC6 – together with studies with chemical inhibitors and other Nef mutants, point to this direction. Hence, the polyproline rich region P72xxP75 (69–77 aa) and the di-Leucin motif in the Nef-ExxxLL160-165 sequence of Nef, appear to be responsible for HDAC6 clearance and, therefore, required for this novel Nef proviral function. Nef and Nef-G2A co-immunoprecipitate with HDAC6, whereas the Nef-PPAA mutant showed a reduced interaction with the anti-HIV-1 enzyme. Thus, the P72xxP75 motif appears to be responsible, directly or indirectly, for the interaction of Nef with HDAC6. Remarkably, by neutralizing HDAC6, Nef assures Pr55Gag location and aggregation at plasma membrane, as observed by TIRFM, promotes viral egress, and enhances the infectivity of viral particles. Consequently, our results suggest that HDAC6 acts as an anti-HIV-1 restriction factor, limiting viral production and infection by targeting Pr55Gag and Vif. This function is counteracted by functional HIV-1 Nef, in order to assure viral production and infection capacities. The interplay between HIV-1 Nef and cellular HDAC6 may determine viral infection and pathogenesis, representing both molecules as key targets to battling HIV.

Authors: Sara Marrero-Hernández, Daniel Márquez-Arce, Romina Cabrera-Rodríguez,Judith Estévez-Herrera, Silvia Pérez-Yanes, Jonathan Barroso-González, Ricardo Madrid, José-David Machado, Julià Blanco and Agustín Valenzuela-Fernández

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