Gem-Induced Cytoskeleton Remodeling Increases Cellular Migration of HTLV-1-Infected Cells, Formation of Infected-to-Target T-Cell Conjugates and Viral Transmission
Cofilin is an actin-depolymerizing factor that regulates actin dynamics critical for T cell migration and T cell activation. In unstimulated resting CD4 T cells, cofilin exists largely as a phosphorylated inactive form. Previously, we demonstrated that during HIV-1 infection of resting CD4 T cells, the viral envelope-CXCR4 signaling activates cofilin to overcome the static cortical actin restriction. In this pilot study, we have extended this in vitro observation and examined cofilin phosphorylation in resting CD4 T cells purified from the peripheral blood of HIV-1-infected patients. Here, we report that the resting T cells from infected patients carry significantly higher levels of active cofilin, suggesting that these resting cells have been primed in vivo in cofilin activity to facilitate HIV-1 infection. HIV-1-mediated aberrant activation of cofilin may also lead to abnormalities in T cell migration and activation that could contribute to viral pathogenesis.