Quiescent CD4+ T cells restrict human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection at early steps of virus replication. Low levels of both deoxyribonucleotide triphosphates (dNTPs) and the biosynthetic enzymes required for their de novo synthesis provide one barrier to infection. CD4+ T cell activation induces metabolic reprogramming that reverses this block and facilitates HIV-1 replication. Here, we show that phospholipase D1 (PLD1) links T cell activation signals to increased HIV-1 permissivity by triggering a c-Myc-dependent transcriptional program that coordinates glucose uptake and nucleotide biosynthesis. Decreasing PLD1 activity pharmacologically or by RNA interference diminished c-Myc-dependent expression during T cell activation at the RNA and protein levels. PLD1 inhibition of HIV-1 infection was partially rescued by adding exogenous deoxyribonucleosides that bypass the need for de novo dNTP synthesis. Moreover, the data indicate that low dNTP levels that impact HIV-1 restriction involve decreased synthesis, and not only increased catabolism of these nucleotides. These findings uncover a unique mechanism of action for PLD1 inhibitors and support their further development as part of a therapeutic combination for HIV-1 and other viral infections dependent on host nucleotide biosynthesis.
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© 2015 Taylor et al.