Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego

UC San Diego Previously Published Works bannerUC San Diego

SMAC mimetics induce autophagy-dependent apoptosis of HIV-1-infected macrophages


Human immunodeficiency type 1 (HIV)-infected macrophages (HIV-Mφ) are a reservoir for latent HIV infection and a barrier to HIV eradication. In contrast to CD4+ T cells, HIV-Mφ are resistant to the cytopathic effects of acute HIV infection and have increased expression of cell survival factors, including X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP), baculoviral IAP repeat containing (BIRC) 2/cIAP1, beclin-1, BCL2, BCL-xl, triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1, mitofusin (MFN) 1, and MFN2. DIABLO/SMAC mimetics are therapeutic agents that affect cancer cell survival and induce cell death. We found that DIABLO/SMAC mimetics (LCL-161, AT-406 (also known as SM-406 or Debio 1143), and birinapant) selectively kill HIV-Mφ without increasing bystander cell death. DIABLO/SMAC mimetic treatment of HIV-Mφ-induced XIAP and BIRC2 degradation, leading to the induction of autophagy and the formation of a death-inducing signaling complex on phagophore membranes that includes both pro-apoptotic or necroptotic (FADD, receptor-interacting protein kinase (RIPK) 1, RIPK3, caspase 8, and MLKL) and autophagy (ATG5, ATG7, and SQSTM1) proteins. Genetic or pharmacologic inhibition of early stages of autophagy, but not late stages of autophagy, ablated this interaction and inhibited apoptosis. Furthermore, DIABLO/SMAC mimetic-mediated apoptosis of HIV-Mφ is dependent upon tumor necrosis factor signaling. Our findings thus demonstrate that DIABLO/SMAC mimetics selectively induce autophagy-dependent apoptosis in HIV-Mφ.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View