Proteomics analysis of human astrocytes expressing the HIV protein Tat

Chava B. Pocernich, Debra Boyd-Kimball, H. Fai Poon, Visith Thongboonkerd, Bert C. Lynn, Jon B. Klein, Vittorio Calebrese, Avindra Nath, D. Allan Butterfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Astrocyte infection in HIV has been associated with rapid progression of dementia in a subset of HIV/AIDS patients. Astrogliosis and microglial activation are observed in areas of axonal and dendritic damage in HIVD. In HIV-infected astrocytes, the regulatory gene tat is over expressed and mRNA levels for Tat are elevated in brain extracts from individuals with HIV-1 dementia. Tat can be detected in HIV-infected astrocytes in vivo. The HIV-1 protein Tat transactivates viral and cellular gene expression, is actively secreted mainly from astrocytes, microglia and macrophages, into the extracellular environment, and is taken up by neighboring uninfected cells such as neurons. The HIV-1 protein Tat released from astrocytes reportedly produces trimming of neurites, mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death in neurons, while protecting its host, the astrocyte. We utilized proteomics to investigate protein expression changes in human astrocytes intracellularly expressing Tat (SVGA-Tat). By coupling 2D fingerprinting and identification of proteins by mass spectrometry, we identified phosphatase 2A, isocitrate dehydrogenase, nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1, Rho GDP dissociation inhibitor α, β-tubulin, crocalbin like protein/calumenin, and vimentin/α-tubulin to have decreased protein expression levels in SVGA-Tat cells compared to the SVGA-pcDNA cells. Heat shock protein 70, heme oxygenase-1, and inducible nitric oxide synthase were found to have increased protein expression in SVGA-Tat cells compared to controls by slotblot technique. These findings are discussed with reference to astrocytes serving as a reservoir for the HIV virus and how Tat promotes survival of the astrocytic host.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-316
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 18 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by grants from NIH (MH64409; AG-10836; AG-05119) to D.A.B. and (RO1 NS39253; P20 RR15592) to A.N.


  • Astrocytes
  • HIV
  • Proteomics
  • Tat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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