Infect Chemother.  2021 Sep;53(3):489-502. 10.3947/ic.2021.0031.

Transcriptome Analysis Identifies Altered Biological Processes and Novel Markers in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 Long-Term Non-Progressors

Affiliations
  • 1School of Life Sciences, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju, Korea
  • 2Anti-Virus Research Center, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Gwangju, Korea
  • 3Division of Chronic Viral Disease, Center for Emerging Virus Research, National Institute of Infectious Disease, National Institute of Health, Cheongju, Korea
  • 4Department of Microbiology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Background
The latent reservoir of Human Immunodificiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) has been a major barrier to the complete eradication of HIV-1 and the development of HIV therapy. Longterm non-progressors (LTNPs) are a rare group of patients with HIV-1 who can spontaneously control HIV-1 replication without antiretroviral therapy. Transcriptome analysis is necessary to predict the pathways involved in the natural control of HIV-1, elucidate the mechanisms involved in LTNPs, and find biomarkers for HIV-1 reservoir therapy.
Materials and Methods
In this study, we obtained peripheral blood mononuclear cells from two LTNP subjects at multiple time points and performed RNA-sequencing analyses.
Results
We found that LTNPs and normal subjects had different transcriptome profiles. Functional annotation analysis identified that differentially expressed genes in LTNPs were enriched in several biological pathways such as cell cycle-related pathways and the transforming growth factor-beta signaling pathway. However, genes that were downregulated in LTNPs were associated with immune responses such as the interferon response and IL2-STAT5 signaling. Protein-protein interaction network analysis showed that CD8A, KLRD1, ASGR1, and MLKL, whose gene expression was upregulated in LTNPs, directly interacted with HIV-1 proteins. The network analysis also found that viral proteins potentially regulated host genes that were associated with immune system processes, metabolic processes, and gene expression regulation.
Conclusion
Our longitudinal transcriptome analysis of the LTNPs identified multiple previously undescribed pathways and genes that may be useful in the discovery of novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers.

Keyword

Human immunodeficiency virus; HIV-1 non-progressors; RNA-seq; Gene expression; Transcriptome analysis
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