The effects of cisplatin and methotrexate on the expression of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 long terminal repeat
Abstract Previous work by many groups has documented the induction of HIV-LTR (human immunodeficiency virus-long terminal repeat) following exposure of cells or whole animals to ultraviolet (UV) light and other DNA damaging agents. In these experiments we set out to determine whether exposure to the cancer chemotherapeutic agents methotrexate and cisplatin had any effect on the expression of the HIV-LTR. Using HeLa cells stably transfected with a construct in which HIV-LTR drives the expression of the reporter gene chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT), we demonstrated induction of HIV-LTR 24–48 h following exposure to 50 μM cisplatin. When UV exposure (10 Jm −2 ) was coupled with cisplatin (50 μM) treatment (which also causes DNA damage), HIV-LTR induction was additive relative to either treatment alone. Methotrexate, which depletes the medium of tetrahydrofolate and does not induce DNA damage, induced HIV-LTR at later (6–7 days) time points than cisplatin or UV treatments. When methotrexate (128 μM) and UV (10 Jm −2 ) treatments were combined, the agents were synergistic with regard to HIV induction. For both drugs, though, induction was not due to generalized transcriptional activation since both cisplatin and methotrexate induced a repression of total transcription as measured in nuclear run-on assays.
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