Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of AIDS and Clinical Research


Volume 5

Inclusive Pages

Article number 309


Objective: Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) is an angioproliferative disease frequently seen in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Previous studies suggest that the HIV-1 protein Tat and Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 (FGF-2) have synergistic angiogenic effects in AIDS-KS tumors. However, the mechanisms by which FGF-2 is released and activated in KS tumors are not clearly defined. We carried out this study to determine whether an FGFbinding protein (FGFBP1 or BP1) that enhances the angiogenic activity of FGF-2 is expressed in AIDS-KS tumors, and to define whether BP1, FGF-2, and HIV-Tat protein-protein interactions could play a potential clinically role in the pathogenesis of AIDS-KS.

Methods: BP1 was localized in AIDS-KS lesions by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization studies. The binding of radiolabeled FGF-2 to His-tagged BP1 or the FGF-receptor 1 was assessed in the presence and absence of HIV-Tat and other viral proteins. Mice carrying tetracycline-regulated BP1 transgene mice were used to determine whether activation of BP1 during wound healing induces KS-like lesions.

Results: BP1 expression was detected in AIDS-KS tumor keratinocytes, spindle cells, and infiltrating mononuclear cells. In addition, HIV-Tat competed for the binding of FGF-2 to immobilized BP1, but does not affect the interactions of FGF-2 with its high affinity receptor (FGFR-1). In contrast, two other HIV-proteins, Nef and gp120, did not affect the binding of FGF-2 to BP1 or to FGFR-1. Finally, up-regulation of BP1 expression in tetracycline-regulated –conditional BP1 transgenic mice subjected to skin wounds, induced KS-like skin lesions.

Conclusion: Taking into consideration the results of previous studies showing that both HIV-Tat and BP1 enhance the mitogenic and angiogenic activity of locally-stored FGF-2, both in vitro and in vivo, our findings suggest a novel mechanism by which the release and activity of FGFs can be modulated in AIDS-KS tumors by HIV-Tat as well as BP1.


Reproduced with permission of OMICS Journal of AIDS and Clinical Research.

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