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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 5173205, 11 pages
Research Article

HMBA Enhances Prostratin-Induced Activation of Latent HIV-1 via Suppressing the Expression of Negative Feedback Regulator A20/TNFAIP3 in NF-κB Signaling

1State Key Laboratory of Stress Cell Biology, School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361005, China
2Department of Genetics, Xuzhou Medical College, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221000, China

Received 21 December 2015; Accepted 21 June 2016

Academic Editor: Marcelo A. Soares

Copyright © 2016 Duchu Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the past decade, much emphasis has been put on the transcriptional activation of HIV-1, which is proposed as a promised strategy for eradicating latent HIV-1 provirus. Two drugs, prostratin and hexamethylene bisacetamide (HMBA), have shown potent effects as inducers for releasing HIV-1 latency when used alone or in combination, although their cellular target(s) are currently not well understood, especially under drug combination. Here, we have shown that HMBA and prostratin synergistically release HIV-1 latency via different mechanisms. While prostratin strongly stimulates HMBA-induced HIV-1 transcription via improved P-TEFb activation, HMBA is capable of boosting NF-κB-dependent transcription initiation by suppressing prostratin-induced expression of the deubiquitinase A20, a negative feedback regulator in the NF-κB signaling pathway. In addition, HMBA was able to increase prostratin-induced phosphorylation and degradation of NF-κB inhibitor IκBα, thereby enhancing and prolonging prostratin-induced nuclear translocation of NF-κB, a prerequisite for stimulation of transcription initiation. Thus, by blocking the negative feedback circuit, HMBA functions as a signaling enhancer of the NF-κB signaling pathway.