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Findings from Sungkyunkwan University Advance Knowledge in HIV/AIDS


2012 MAY 21 - According to the authors of a study from Suwon, South Korea, "Defensins, a family of antimicrobial peptides, are one of the first lines of host defense. Human beta-defensins (hBD) such as hBD-2 and -3 have anti-HIV activity."

"Previous studies have shown that HIV-1 virion can induce the expression of hBD, although the exact components of HIV-1 virion that are responsible for hBD expression have not yet been elucidated. In this study, we examined the effect of HIV-1 Tat on the expression of hBD in B cells. Stimulation of B cells with HIV-1 Tat protein significantly increased the mRNA and protein levels of hBD-2. HIV-1 Tat also induced the activation of a reporter gene for hBD-2 in a dose-dependent manner in B cells. Pretreatment of B cells with a JNK inhibitor suppressed HIV-1 Tat-induced hBD-2 expression. Pretreatment of B cells with AP-1 inhibitors or NF-kappa B inhibitors led to a decrease in HIV-1 Tat-induced protein and mRNA expression of hBD-2," wrote S.M. Ju and colleagues, Sungkyunkwan University (see also HIV/AIDS).

The researchers concluded: "Taken together, our results indicate that HIV-1 Tat can up-regulate the expression of hBD-2 via JNK-NF-kappa B/AP-1-dependent pathways in human B cells."

Ju and colleagues published their study in Molecules and Cells (Extracellular HIV-1 Tat induces human beta-defensin-2 production via NF-kappaB/AP-1 dependent pathways in human B cells. Molecules and Cells, 2012;33(4):335-341).

For more information, contact S.M. Ju, Sungkyunkwan UniversityDept. of Biol Sci, Coll Nat Sci, Suwon 440746, South Korea.

Publisher contact information for the journal Molecules and Cells is: Korean Soc Molecular & Cellular Biology, 635-4, Yucksam-Dong, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul 135-703, South Korea.


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Information in this article was accurate in May 21, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.