AIDS-related B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (AIDS-NHL) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). AIDS-NHL is clinically and histologically heterogeneous, but common features include an aggressive clinical course and frequent extranodal presentation. HIV-1 infection of nonimmune cells that interact with malignant B cells at extranodal sites may influence both the development and the clinical presentation of disease. Our previous studies have shown that coculture of B-lymphoma (BL) cells with HIV-1-infected endothelial cells (EC) leads to contact activation of EC and firm BL-cell adhesion. The key event promoting EC-BL-cell adhesion was HIV-1 upregulation of endothelial CD4O, which allowed induction of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) in a CD40-dependent manner. The present study was designed to identify the HIV-1 protein(s) that influence EC-BL-cell adhesion. When HIV-1 proteins were individually expressed in EC by using recombinant adenoviruses, cultured BL cells adhered exclusively to Vpu-transduced EC. As with HIV-infected EC, adhesive properties were linked to the capacity of Vpu to upregulate CD40, which in turn allowed efficient expression of VCAM-1. When EC were infected with an HIV-1 pseudotype lacking the Vpu gene, CD40 upregulation and BL-cell adhesive properties were lost, indicating an essential role for Vpu in EC-BL-cell interactions. Thus, these data reveal a novel function for HIV-1 Vpu and further suggest a role for Vpu in the development of AIDS-NHL at EC-rich extranodal sites.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science