DING proteins constitute an interesting family, owing to their intriguing and important activities. However, after a decade of research, little is known about these proteins. In humans, at least five different DING proteins have been identified, which were implicated in important biological processes and diseases, including HIV. Indeed, recent data from different research groups have highlighted the anti-HIV activity of some DING representatives. These proteins share the ability to inhibit the transcriptional step of HIV-1, a key step of the viral cycle that is not yet targeted by the current therapies. Since such proteins have been isolated from humans, we undertook a comprehensive study that focuses on the relationship between these proteins and HIV-infection in an infectious context. Hence, we developed a home-made ELISA for the quantification of the concentration of DING proteins in human serum. Using this method, we were able to determine the concentration of DING proteins in healthy and HIV-infected patients. Interestingly, we observed a significant increase of the concentration of DING proteins in non treated and treated HIV-infected patients compared to controls. In addition, cell cultures infected with HIV also show an increased expression of DING proteins, ruling out the possible role of antiretroviral treatment in the increase of the expression of DING proteins. In conclusion, results from this study show that the organism reacts to HIV-infection by an overexpression of DING proteins. © 2012 Djeghader et al.
Djeghader, A., Aragonès, G., Darbinian, N., Elias, M., Gonzalez, D., García-Heredia, A., … Chabriere, E. (2012). The level of DING proteins is increased in HIV-infected patients: In vitro and in vivo studies. PLoS ONE, 7(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0033062