The HIV-1 virion-associated accessory protein Vpr affects both viral replication and cellular transcription, proliferation, and differentiation. We report that Vpr enhances the activity of glucocorticoids in lymphoid and muscle-derived cell lines by interacting directly with the glucocorticoid receptor and general transcription factors, acting as a coactivator. Vpr contains the signature motif LXXLL also present in cellular nuclear receptor coactivators, such as steroid receptor coactivator 1 and p300/CREB-binding protein, which mediates their interaction with the glucocorticoid and other nuclear hormone receptors. A mutant Vpr molecule with disruption of this coactivator signature motif lost its ability to influence transcription of glucocorticoid-responsive genes and became a dominant-negative inhibitor of Vpr, possibly by retaining its general transcription factor-binding activities. The glucocorticoid coactivator activity of Vpr may contribute to increased tissue glucocorticoid sensitivity in the absence of hypercortisolism and to the pathogenesis of AIDS.
- Mouse mammary tumor virus
- Nuclear receptors
- Steroid receptor coactivator 1
ASJC Scopus subject areas