Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.529, No.4, 1038-1044, 2020
HIV-1 Nef promotes ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of p53 tumor suppressor protein by using E6AP
Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) Nef promotes p53 protein degradation to protect HIV-1 infected cells from p53 induced apoptosis. We found that Nef mediated p53 degradation is accom-plished through ubiquitin proteasome pathway in an Mdm2-independent manner. By GST pulldown and immunoprecipitation assays, we have shown that Nef interacts with E3 ubiquitin ligase E6AP in both Nef transfected HEK-293T cells and HIV-1 infected MOLT3 cells. The p53 ubiquitination and degradation was found to be enhanced by Nef with E6AP but not by Nef with E6AP-C843A, a dominant negative E6AP mutant. We show that Nef binds with E6AP and promotes E6AP dependent p53 ubiquitination. Further, Nef inhibits apoptosis of p53 null H1299 cells after exogenous expression of p53 protein. The p53 dependent apoptosis of H1299 cells was further reduced after the expression of Nef with E6AP. However, Nef mediated reduction in p53 induced apoptosis of H1299 cells was restored when Nef was co -expressed with E6AP-C843A. Thus, Nef and E6AP co-operate to promote p53 ubiquitination and degradation in order to suppress p53 dependent apoptosis. CHME3 cells, which are a natural host of HIV -1, also show p53 ubiquitination and degradation by Nef and E6AP. These results establish that Nef in-duces p53 degradation via cellular E3 ligase E6AP to inhibit apoptosis during HIV-1 infection. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.