HIV-1 post-integration latency in CD4+ lymphocytes is responsible for viral persistence despite treatment, but mechanisms involved in the establishment of latent viral reservoirs are not fully understood. We determined that both interleukin 2 (IL-2) and IL-7 induced SAMHD1 phosphorylation in T592, abrogating its antiviral activity. However, IL-7 caused a much more profound stimulatory effect on HIV-1 reverse transcription and integration than IL-2 that required chemokine co-stimulation. Both cytokines barely induced transcription due to low NF-κB induction, favoring the establishment of latent reservoirs. Effect of IL-7 on SAMHD1 phosphorylation was confirmed in IL-7-treated patients (ACTG 5214 study). Dasatinib--a tyrosine-kinase inhibitor--blocked SAMHD1 phosphorylation induced by IL-2 and IL-7 and restored HIV-1 restriction. We propose that γc-cytokines play a major role in the reservoir establishment not only by driving homeostatic proliferation but also by increasing susceptibility of CD4+ lymphocytes to HIV-1 infection through SAMHD1 inactivation.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.