Akusjärvi SS, Ambikan AT, Krishnan S, Gupta S, Sperk M, Végvári Á, Mikaeloff F, Healy K, Vesterbacka J, Nowak P, Sönnerborg A, Neogi U
iScience 25 (1) 103607 [2022-01-21; online 2021-12-10]
Natural control of HIV-1 is a characteristic of <1% of HIV-1-infected individuals, so called elite controllers (EC). In this study, we sought to identify signaling pathways associated with the EC phenotype using integrative proteo-transcriptomic analysis and immunophenotyping. We found HIF signaling and glycolysis as specific traits of the EC phenotype together with dysregulation of HIF target gene transcription. A higher proportion of HIF-1α and HIF-1β in the nuclei of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the male EC were observed, indicating a potential increased activation of the HIF signaling pathway. Furthermore, intracellular glucose levels were elevated in EC even as the surface expression of the metabolite transporters Glut1 and MCT-1 were decreased on lymphocytes indicative of unique metabolic uptake and flux profile. Combined, our data show that glycolytic modulation and altered HIF signaling is a unique feature of the male EC phenotype that may contribute to natural control of HIV-1.