Superantigens activate HIV-1 gene expression in monocytic cells

Ramsay Fuleihan, Nikolaus Trede, Talal Chatila, Raif S. Geha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Binding of superantigens to MHC class II molecules results in transduction of biochemical signals leading to cellular activation and gene expression. We demonstrate that the staphylococcal superantigens toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1) and staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA) activate HIV-1-LTR-driven transcription of chloramphenicol acetyl transferase in the human monocytic cell line THP-1. Induction of HIV-1-LTR-driven transcription in THP-1 cells hy superantigens was associated with the induction of nuclear factor-κB DNA-binding activity. Superantigens also increased viral protein secretion from the granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor-pretreated chronically infected human monocytic cell line U1. Induction of HIV-1 gene expression in monocytic cells by superantigens occurred via tumor necrosis factor-α-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Our results suggest that superantigens and other MHC class II ligands may activate HIV-1 gene expression in monocytes/macrophages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-361
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Immunology


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