Abstract. Autophagy is a cellular process leading to the degradation of cytoplasmic components such as organelles and intracellular pathogens. It has been shown that HIV-1 relies on several components of the autophagy pathway for its replication, but the virus also blocks late steps of autophagy to prevent its degradation. We generated stable knockdown T cell lines for 12 autophagy factors and analyzed the impact on HIV-1 replication. RNAi-mediated knockdown of 5 autophagy factors resulted in inhibition of HIV-1 replication. Autophagy analysis confirmed a specific defect in the autophagy pathway for 4 of these 5 factors. We also scored the impact on cell viability, but no gross effects were observed. Upon simultaneous knockdown of 2 autophagy factors (Atg16 and Atg5), an additive inhibitory effect was scored on HIV-1 replication. Stable knockdown of several autophagy factors inhibit HIV-1 replication without any apparent cytotoxicity. We therefore propose that targeting of the autophagy pathway can be a novel therapeutic approach against HIV-1.

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doi.org/10.1186/1743-422X-9-69, hdl.handle.net/1765/71795
Virology Journal
Department of Pediatrics

Eekels, J. J. M., Sagnier, S., Geerts, D., Jeeninga, R., Biard-Piechaczyk, M., & Berkhout, B. (2012). Inhibition of HIV-1 replication with stable RNAi-mediated knockdown of autophagy factors. Virology Journal, 9. doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-69