Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the causative agent of AIDS, infects and kills lymphoid cells bearing the CD4 antigen. In an infected cell, a number of cellular as well as HIV-encoded gene products determine the levels of viral gene expression and HIV replication. Efficient HIV-replication occurs in activated T cells. Utilizing transient expression assays, we show that gene expression directed by the HIV long terminal repeat (LTR) increases in response to T-cell activation signals. The effects of T-cell activation and of the HIV-encoded trans-activator (TAT) are multiplicative. Analysis of mutations and deletions in the HIV LTR reveals that the region responding to T-cell activation signals is located at positions -105 to -80. These sequences are composed of two direct repeats, which are homologous to the core transcriptional enhancer elements in the simian virus 40 genome. Our studies reveal that these elements function as the HIV enhancer. By acting directly on the HIV LTR, T-cell activation may play an important role in HIV gene expression and in the activation of latent HIV.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Oct 1987|
ASJC Scopus subject areas