Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(11):2438-2447. doi:10.7150/ijbs.38146 This issue

Research Paper

HIV-1-infected cell-derived exosomes promote the growth and progression of cervical cancer

Haiyu Li1, Xiangbo Chi1, Rong Li2, Jing Ouyang1, Yaokai Chen1✉

1. Department of Infectious Diseases, Chongqing Public Health Medical Center, Chongqing, China
2. Departments of Department of Gastroenterology, Chongqing Public Health Medical Center, Southwest University, Chongqing, China

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Li H, Chi X, Li R, Ouyang J, Chen Y. HIV-1-infected cell-derived exosomes promote the growth and progression of cervical cancer. Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(11):2438-2447. doi:10.7150/ijbs.38146. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Background: Women infected with HIV are more likely to have aggressive cervical cancer, and patients with HIV infection are often more severely ill than those without HIV infection. However, the underlying mechanism for the progression of cervical cancer is not yet fully understood and requires further research.

Methods: Exosomes were isolated from cell culture supernatants using differential ultracentrifugation. Confirmation of exosome isolation was based upon identification by electron microscopy and NanoSight particle tracking analysis of the purified fraction. The function of exosomes derived from HIV-infected T-cells in cervical cancer was determined by CCK8 and Transwell invasion assays.

Results: Exosomal miR-155-5p derived from HIV-infected T-cells promotes the proliferation, migration and invasion of cervical cancer cells. Furthermore, we found that HIV-infected T-cells secrete exosomal miR-155-5p that directly targets ARID2 degradation, leading to activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway. MiR-155-5p promotes cervical cancer progression by secreting proinflammatory cytokines, including IL-6 and IL-8.

Conclusions: In conclusion, we demonstrate that intercellular crosstalk between HIV-infected T-cells and cervical cancer is mediated by exosomes from HIV-infected T-cells that contribute to the malignant progression of cervical cancer, providing potential targets for the prevention and treatment of HIV-associated cervical cancer.

Keywords: cervical cancer, HIV-infected T-cell, exosome, miR-155-5p