Activation of HIV gene expression during monocyte differentiation by induction of NF-kappa B

Nature. 1989 May 4;339(6219):70-3. doi: 10.1038/339070a0.


The latent period of AIDS is influenced by factors which activate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication in different cell types. Although monocytic cells may provide a reservoir for virus production in vivo, their regulation of HIV transcription has not been defined. We now report that HIV gene expression in the monocyte lineage is regulated by NF-kappa B, the same transcription factor known to stimulate the HIV enhancer in activated T cells; however, control of NF-kappa B and HIV in monocytes differs from that observed in T cells. NF-kappa B-binding activity appears during the transition from promonocyte to monocyte in U937 cells induced to differentiate in vitro and is present constitutively in mature monocytes and macrophages. In a chronically infected promonocytic cell, U1, differentiation is associated with HIV-1 replication as well as NF-kappa B binding activity. These findings suggest that NF-kappa B binding activity is developmentally regulated in the monocyte lineage, and that it provides one signal for HIV activation in these cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • HIV / genetics*
  • Leukemia
  • Monocytes / cytology
  • Monocytes / microbiology*
  • NF-kappa B
  • Phorbol 12,13-Dibutyrate / pharmacology
  • Plasmids
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology


  • DNA, Viral
  • NF-kappa B
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Phorbol 12,13-Dibutyrate
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate