Induction of apoptosis in uninfected lymphocytes by HIV-1 Tat protein

Science  21 Apr 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5209, pp. 429-431
DOI: 10.1126/science.7716549


Infection by human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV-1) is typified by the progressive depletion of CD4 T lymphocytes and deterioration of immune function in most patients. A central unresolved issue in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) pathogenesis is the mechanism underlying this T cell depletion. HIV-1 Tat protein was shown to induce cell death by apoptosis in a T cell line and in cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells from uninfected donors. This Tat-induced apoptosis was inhibitable by growth factors and was associated with enhanced activation of cyclin-dependent kinases.

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