Participation of tyrosine phosphorylation in the cytopathic effect of human immunodeficiency virus-1

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Science  24 Apr 1992:
Vol. 256, Issue 5056, pp. 542-545
DOI: 10.1126/science.1570514


Protein tyrosine phosphorylation is a common mechanism of signaling in pathways that regulate T cell receptor-mediated cell activation, cell proliferation, and the cell cycle. Because human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is though to affect normal cell signaling, tyrosine phosphorylation may be associated with HIV cytopathicity. In both HIV-infected cells and transfected cells that stably express HIV envelope glycoproteins undergoing HIVgp41-induced cell fusion, a 30-kilodalton protein was phosphorylated on tyrosine with kinetics similar to those of syncytium formation and cell death. When tyrosine phosphorylation was inhibited by the protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor herbimycin A, envelope-mediated syncytium formation was coordinately reduced. These studies show that specific intracellular signals, which apparently participate in cytopathicity, are generated by HIV and suggest strategies by which the fusion process might be interrupted.