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NF-kappa B-independent suppression of HIV expression by ascorbic acid.

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 1997 Feb 10;13(3):235-9 (ISSN: 0889-2229) Harakeh S; Jariwalla RJ

Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine, Palo Alto, California 94306, USA.

Ascorbic acid (ascorbate or vitamin C) has been shown to suppress the induction of HIV in latently infected T lymphocytic cells following stimulation with a tumor promoter (PMA) and inflammatory cytokine (TNF-alpha). To assess whether this inhibition was mediated via modulation of the cellular transcription factor, NF-kappa B, we carried out gel shift analysis on nuclear extracts prepared under different conditions of cell stimulation in the presence or absence of ascorbate, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), or zidovudine (AZT). Pretreatment of ACH-2 T cells by NAC followed by stimulation with PMA, TNF-alpha, or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) resulted in strong suppression of NF-kappa B activation. In contrast, neither ascorbate nor AZT affected NF-kappa B activity under all three induction conditions in the ACH-2 cell line. Ascorbate and AZT also had no effect on NF-kappa B activation following TNF-alpha- or PMA-induced stimulation of U1 promonocytic cells. These results suggest that the molecular mechanism of HIV inhibition by ascorbate is not mediated via NF-kappa B inhibition, unlike that seen with other antioxidants.

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