Previous work by our group and others has shown the modulation of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) promoter or long terminal repeat (LTR) after exposure to neutrons and ultraviolet radiations. Using HeLa cells stably transfected with a construct containing the chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) gene, the transcription of which is mediated by the HIV- LTR, we designed experiments to examine the effects of exposure to different types of radiation (such as γ rays, ultraviolet and sunlight irradiations, electromagnetic fields and microwaves) on HIV-LTR-driven expression of CAT. These results demonstrated ultraviolet-light-induced transcription from the HIV promoter, as has been shown by others. Exposure to other DNA-damaging agents such as γ rays and sunlight (with limited exposures) had no significant effect on transcription mediated by HIV-LTR, suggesting that induction of HIV is not mediated by just any type of DNA damage but rather may require specific types of DNA damage. Microwaves did not cause cell killing when cells in culture were exposed in high volumes of medium, and the same cells showed no changes in expression. When microwave exposure was carried out in low volumes of medium (so that excessive heat was generated) induction of HIV-LTR transcription (as assayed by CAT activity) was evident. Electromagnetic field exposures had no effect on expression of HIV-LTR. These results demonstrate that not all types of radiation and not all DNA-damaging agents are capable of inducing HIV. We hypothesize that induction of HIV transcription may be mediated by several different signals after exposure to radiation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging