Scientific reports

Cocaine Enhances DC to T-cell HIV-1 Transmission by Activating DC-SIGN/LARG/LSP1 Complex and Facilitating Infectious Synapse Formation.

PMID 28094782


DC-SIGN is a dendritic cell surface structure which participates in binding and transmission of HIV-1. Here, for the first time we demonstrate that cocaine induces over expression of DC-SIGN and significantly enhances virus transfer from DCs to T-cells by increasing the binding and internalization of HIV-1 in DCs. We found that cocaine activates a DC-SIGN mediated 'signalosome' complex by enhancing its association with LARG and LSP1. Further, LARG was observed to participate in DC-SIGN mediated internalization of HIV-1 in DCs. Intracellular trafficking studies of HIV-1 in cocaine treated DCs revealed increased co-localization of HIV-1 with endosomal or multi vesicular body (MVB) markers such as CD81 and VPS4 and decreased co-localization with the phagolysomal marker LAMP1; this signified altered intracellular trafficking and decreased degradation of HIV-1 in cocaine treated DCs. Furthermore, we found that cocaine induced activation of LARG which in turn activated Rho A and the focal adhesion molecules FAK, Pyk2 and paxillin. This signaling cascade enhanced the formation of an infectious synapse between DCs and T-cells. Our study provides insight into the molecular mechanisms of cocaine's contribution to key components in HIV pathogenesis and highlights novel targets for interrupting the virus life cycle in substance using hosts.

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EHU122711 MISSION® esiRNA, esiRNA human ARHGEF12 (esiRNA1)