The ability of HIV to establish long-lived latent infection is mainly due to transcriptional silencing of viral genome in resting memory T lymphocytes. Here, we show that new semi-synthetic ingenol esters reactivate latent HIV reservoirs. Amongst the tested compounds, 3-caproyl-ingenol (ING B) was more potent in reactivating latent HIV than known activators such as SAHA, ingenol 3,20-dibenzoate, TNF-α, PMA and HMBA. ING B activated PKC isoforms followed by NF-κB nuclear translocation. As virus reactivation is dependent on intact NF-κB binding sites in the LTR promoter region ING B, we have shown that. ING B was able to reactivate virus transcription in primary HIV-infected resting cells up to 12 fold and up to 25 fold in combinationwith SAHA.Additionally, ING B promoted up-regulation of P-TEFb subunits CDK9/CyclinT1. The role of ING B on promoting both transcription initiation and elongation makes this compound a strong candidate for an anti-HIV latency drug combined with suppressive HAART.
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