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Role of Autophagy in Von Willebrand Factor Secretion by Endothelial Cells and in the In Vivo Thrombin-Antithrombin Complex Formation Promoted by the HIV-1 Matrix Protein p17

Bugatti, Antonella, Marsico, Stefania, Mazzuca, Pietro, Schulze, Kai, Ebensen, Thomas, Giagulli, Cinzia, Peña, Esther, Badimón, Lina, Slevin, Mark ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3767-4861, Caruso, Arnaldo, Guzman, Carlos A and Caccuri, Francesca (2020) Role of Autophagy in Von Willebrand Factor Secretion by Endothelial Cells and in the In Vivo Thrombin-Antithrombin Complex Formation Promoted by the HIV-1 Matrix Protein p17. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21 (6). p. 2022.

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Abstract

Although the advent of combined antiretroviral therapy has substantially improved the survival of HIV-1-infected individuals, non-AIDS-related diseases are becoming increasingly prevalent in HIV-1-infected patients. Persistent abnormalities in coagulation appear to contribute to excess risk for a broad spectrum of non-AIDS defining complications. Alterations in coagulation biology in the context of HIV infection seem to be largely a consequence of a chronically inflammatory microenvironment leading to endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction. A possible direct role of HIV-1 proteins in sustaining EC dysfunction has been postulated but not yet investigated. The HIV-1 matrix protein p17 (p17) is secreted from HIV-1-infected cells and is known to sustain inflammatory processes by activating ECs. The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility that p17-driven stimulation of human ECs is associated with increased production of critical coagulation factors. Here we show the involvement of autophagy in the p17-induced accumulation and secretion of von Willebrand factor (vWF) by ECs. In vivo experiments confirmed the capability of p17 to exert a potent pro-coagulant activity soon after its intravenous administration.</jats:p>

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