HIV-1 gp120 protein promotes HAND through the calcineurin pathway activation

Jenny Shrestha, Maryline Santerre, Charles N. Allen, Sterling P. Arjona, Robert Hooper, Ruma Mukerjee, Marcus Kaul, Natalia Shcherbik, Jonathan Soboloff, Bassel E. Sawaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


For over two decades, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was able to help prolong the life expectancy of people living with HIV-1 (PLWH) and eliminate the virus to an undetectable level. However, an increased prevalence of HIV- associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) was observed. These symptoms range from neuronal dysfunction to cell death. Among the markers of neuronal deregulation, we cite the alteration of synaptic plasticity and neuronal communications. Clinically, these dysfunctions led to neurocognitive disorders such as learning alteration and loss of spatial memory, which promote premature brain aging even in HAART-treated patients. In support of these observations, we showed that the gp120 protein deregulates miR-499-5p and its downstream target, the calcineurin (CaN) protein. The gp120 protein also promotes the accumulation of calcium (Ca2+) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) inside the neurons leading to the activation of CaN and the inhibition of miR-499-5p. gp120 protein also caused mitochondrial fragmentation and changes in shape and size. The use of mimic miR-499 restored mitochondrial functions, appearance, and size. These results demonstrated the additional effect of the gp120 protein on neurons through the miR-499-5p/calcineurin pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-40
Number of pages10
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Brain/metabolism
  • Calcineurin/metabolism
  • Cell Death
  • HIV Infections
  • HIV-1/metabolism
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs/genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'HIV-1 gp120 protein promotes HAND through the calcineurin pathway activation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this