Gp120 is the envelope protein of HIV which binds to CD4 independent proteins on vaginal epithelial cells. HIV-gp120 has been reported to modulate gene expression in several cell types. How this interaction may alter the physiologic vaginal milieu during the earliest stages of vaginal transmission of HIV, is currently unknown. Vaginal epithelial cells were treated with HIV-gp120, and a global snapshot of changes in gene expression profiles, were unraveled by microarray analysis. The differentially expressed genes were involved in diverse cellular functions. Genes of immunomodulatory processes and induction of proteases were highly enriched. We propose that the induction of inflammation and proteases may act in concert to weaken the vaginal epithelium, making it more permeable to viral entry. Identification of the gene signatures involved in vaginal-HIV dialogue would aid in understanding the environ induced by HIV itself, as the virus invades and gains entry into its host.
Keywords: HIV; Inflammation; Microarray; Proteases; Vagina; gp120.
Copyright © 2013 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.