Molecular biology of the cell

Inhibiting the Arp2/3 complex limits infection of both intracellular mature vaccinia virus and primate lentiviruses.

PMID 15385624


Characterizing cellular factors involved in the life cycle of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is an initial step toward controlling replication of HIV-1. Actin polymerization mediated by the Arp2/3 complex has been found to play a critical role in some pathogens' intracellular motility. We have asked whether this complex also contributes to the viral life cycles including that of HIV-1. We have used both the acidic domains from actin-related protein (Arp) 2/3 complex-binding proteins such as the Wiscott-Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP) or cortactin, and siRNA directing toward Arp2 to inhibit viral infection. HIV-1, simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), and intracellular mature vaccinia virus (IMV) were sensitive to inhibition of the Arp2/3 complex, whereas MLV, HSV-1, and adenovirus were not. Interestingly, pseudotyping HIV-1 with vesicular stomatitis virus G protein (VSV-G) overcame this inhibition. Constitutive inhibition of the Arp2/3 complex in the T-cell line H9 also blocked replication of HIV-1. These data suggested the existence of an Arp2/3 complex-dependent event during the early phase of the life cycles of both primate lentiviruses and IMV. Inhibiting the HIV-1's ability to activate Arp2/3 complex could be a potential chemotherapeutic intervention for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).