Andrew J. Henderson, PhD
Associate Professor
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of Medicine
Infectious Diseases Section

PhD, University of California, Riverside
MS, University of California, Riverside



My research focuses on cellular mechanisms that regulate HIV replication and transcription. Active projects in the lab include elucidating T cell costimulatory signal transduction cascades that positively and negatively regulate HIV transcription, determining mechanisms by which HIV circumvents anti-inflammatory signals to promote HIV replication and AIDS-associated inflammatory diseases and characterizing the transcriptional status of HIV provirus in T cell and macrophage subsets. Although, HIV is our primary experimental system, our research provides general insights into signal transduction, tissue-specific gene expression, immune cell function and mechanisms that contribute to inflammatory disorders and autoimmunity. Below highlights some of the current on-going projects in the lab:

T cell signals regulate HIV replication. T cell activation through the T cell receptor and costimulatory molecules, including CD28, influences susceptibility of T cells to HIV infection as well as proviral transcription. Incomplete T cell receptor signaling has been proposed to be a mechanism that contributes to proviral latency. We hypothesize that CD28 engagement results in distinct signaling cascades that have very different consequences for HIV transcription. We are actively characterizing signaling events emanating from critical tyrosine residues within the cytoplasmic tail of CD28 that either inhibit or induce HIV transcription to fully appreciate how costimulatory signals impact HIV transcription. In addition, we are characterizing the transcriptional machinery that regulates HIV expression in response to T cell signals. Understanding mechanisms by which CD28 regulates HIV transcription will further define pathways associated with this receptor as well as identify putative upstream signal transduction events critical for controlling HIV expression.

Related projects have suggested that non-receptor tyrosine kinases necessary for T cell activation and function, such as the Src kinase Lck and the Tec kinase Itk mediate efficient release of HIV. The mechanisms by which these kinases influence these late steps of HIV virus replication are actively being studied.

Regulation of HIV transcription elongation. HIV provirus is regulated at the level of transcription and involves changes in transcription initiation, chromatin organization and elongation. In particular, transcription elongation has been demonstrated to be a limiting step for HIV expression and overcoming this block is the primary activity of the viral factor Tat, which through the recruitment of P-TEFb to the LTR, post-translationally modifies RNA polymerase II and associated factors to increase processive transcription. Whether this initial lack of RNA polymerase II processivity represents proximal paused RNA polymerase II, premature termination, or both has not been resolved. Recent work from our lab shows that negative elongation factor NELF and the transcription termination factor Pcf11 repress HIV transcription. We hypothesize that the coordinate control of RNA Polymerase II activity and premature transcription termination coupled with chromatin changes create key check-points for HIV transcription that directly contributes to proviral transcriptional latency. In addition, we posit that there are cellular signals that extinguish HIV expression by inducing promoter proximal pausing and premature termination. Using a receptor tyrosine kinase that represses HIV expression, we are mapping signaling pathways that are upstream of transcription initiation, elongation and termination. Understanding the regulation of HIV transcription elongation will provide novel cellular targets for controlling and purging HIV in different cellular reservoirs.

Assistant Dean
Boston University School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences


Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences


Associate Professor
Boston University School of Medicine
Microbiology


Boston Medical Center



2011 Journal of Immunology: Associate Editor
2008 Nature Publishing Group, Boston SciCafe: Award for Outstanding Research Achievement
1995-1998 Leukemia Society of America, Special Fellow
1992-1995 The Aaron Diamond Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
1990 Chancellor’s Patent Fund
1990 Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Research Award
1987 Newell Graduate Research Award
1986 Newell Graduate Research Award


BU-UL Partnership to Enhance Emerging Epidemic Virus Research in Liberia (BULEEVR)
09/08/2017 - 08/31/2018 (Co-PI)
PI: Nahid Bhadelia, MD, MA
NIH/Fogarty International Center
1D71TW010785-01


Disabling HIV provirus by promoting Chromatinization
07/01/2017 - 06/30/2019 (PI)
American Foundation for AIDS Research

Lifespan/Tufts/brown Center for AIDS Research (CFAR): Core H Basic & Translational Sciences
07/01/2016 - 06/30/2018 (PI)
Miriam Hospital NIH-NIAID

Transcription mechanisms that contribute to HIV-1 Latency
04/01/2013 - 03/31/2018 (PI)
NIH-NIAID
4R01AI097117-04

Transcription mechanisms that contribute to HIV-1 Latency
04/01/2013 - 03/31/2018 (PI)
NIH-NIAID
5R01AI097117-03

Identification of Signals Required for the Establishment of HIV Infection
09/02/2015 - 08/31/2017 (PI)
NIH-NIAID
1R56AI118682-01

HIV-1 transcriptional latency in unresponsive CD4 T cells
08/01/2016 - 07/31/2017 (PI)
Univ of Alabama NIH-NIAID

Identification of Pathways that Repress HIV Provirus Using an in vivo Drosphila-Based Screen
07/01/2016 - 06/30/2017 (PI)
Miriam Hospital NIH-NIAID

Novel Compounds that target HIV latency
07/10/2015 - 06/30/2017 (PI)
NIH-NIAID
5R21AI108447-02

Oral Macrophage Function in the Context of Periodontal Disease and HIV Infection
09/25/2013 - 08/31/2016 (PI)
NIH-NIDCR
5R56DE023950-02

Anti-HIV Activity of NK-92 System
01/21/2016 - 06/30/2016 (PI)
NantKwest, Inc.

Showing 10 of 14 results. Show All Results


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2017 BU-UL Partnership to Enhance Emerging Epidemic Virus Research in Liberia (BULEEVR) 1D71TW010785-01
2016 Transcription mechanisms that contribute to HIV-1 latency 4R01AI097117-04 3
2015 Identification of Signals Required for the Establishment of HIV Infection and Latency 1R56AI118682-01 1
2015 Transcription mechanisms that contribute to HIV-1 latency 5R01AI097117-03 3
2014 Novel compounds that target HIV latency 1R21AI108447-01A1
2014 Novel compounds that target HIV latency 1R21AI108447-01A1
2014 Oral Macrophage Function in the Context of Periodontal Disease and HIV Infection 5R56DE023950-02 2
2014 Transcription mechanisms that contribute to HIV-1 latency 5R01AI097117-02 3
2013 Oral Macrophage Function in the Context of Periodontal Disease and HIV Infection 1R56DE023950-01 2
2013 Transcription mechanisms that contribute to HIV-1 latency 1R01AI097117-01A1 3
Showing 10 of 25 results. Show All Results
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

  1. Graci JD, Michaels D, Chen G, Schiralli Lester GM, Nodder S, Weetall M, Karp GM, Gu Z, Colacino JM, Henderson AJ. Identification of benzazole compounds that induce HIV-1 transcription. PLoS One. 2017; 12(6):e0179100.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28658263.
  2. Miller CM, Akiyama H, Agosto LM, Emery A, Ettinger CR, Swanstrom RI, Henderson AJ, Gummuluru S. Virion-Associated Vpr Alleviates a Postintegration Block to HIV-1 Infection of Dendritic Cells. J Virol. 2017 Jul 01; 91(13).View Related Profiles. PMID: 28424288; DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00051-17;.
  3. Agosto LM, Hirnet JB, Michaels DH, Shaik-Dasthagirisaheb YB, Gibson FC, Viglianti G, Henderson AJ. Porphyromonas gingivalis-mediated signaling through TLR4 mediates persistent HIV infection of primary macrophages. Virology. 2016 Dec; 499:72-81.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27639573; DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2016.09.007;.
  4. Papadopoulos G, Shaik-Dasthagirisaheb YB, Huang N, Viglianti GA, Henderson AJ, Kantarci A, Gibson FC. Immunologic environment influences macrophage response to Porphyromonas gingivalis. Mol Oral Microbiol. 2017 Jun; 32(3):250-261.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27346827; DOI: 10.1111/omi.12168;.
  5. Agosto LM, Gagne M, Henderson AJ. Impact of Chromatin on HIV Replication. Genes (Basel). 2015; 6(4):957-76.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26437430; DOI: 10.3390/genes6040957;.
  6. Kaczmarek Michaels K, Wolschendorf F, Schiralli Lester GM, Natarajan M, Kutsch O, Henderson AJ. RNAP II processivity is a limiting step for HIV-1 transcription independent of orientation to and activity of endogenous neighboring promoters. Virology. 2015 Dec; 486:7-14.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26379089; DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2015.08.027;.
  7. Kaczmarek Michaels K, Natarajan M, Euler Z, Alter G, Viglianti G, Henderson AJ. Blimp-1, an intrinsic factor that represses HIV-1 proviral transcription in memory CD4+ T cells. J Immunol. 2015 Apr 1; 194(7):3267-74.View Related Profiles. PMID: 25710909; PMCID: PMC4369419; DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1402581;.
  8. Collins MH, Henderson AJ. Transcriptional regulation and T cell exhaustion. Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2014 Sep; 9(5):459-63. PMID: 25010896; DOI: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000091;.
  9. Kaczmarek K, Morales A, Henderson AJ. T Cell Transcription Factors and Their Impact on HIV Expression. Virology (Auckl). 2013 Sep 24; 2013(4):41-47.View Related Profiles. PMID: 24436634.
  10. Cary DC, Clements JE, Henderson AJ. RON receptor tyrosine kinase, a negative regulator of inflammation, is decreased during simian immunodeficiency virus-associated central nervous system disease. J Immunol. 2013 Oct 15; 191(8):4280-7. PMID: 24043899; PMCID: PMC3819118; DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1300797;.
Showing 10 of 56 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 56 publications over 25 distinct years, with a maximum of 6 publications in 2003

YearPublications
19902
19921
19941
19953
19961
19972
19981
20001
20014
20022
20036
20041
20054
20063
20072
20085
20091
20101
20111
20122
20134
20141
20153
20162
20172
In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

HIV
kinases
macrophages
RNA polymerase II
signal transduction
T cells
transcription
transcription factors

Available to Mentor as: (Review Mentor Role Definitions):
  • Advisor
  • Career Mentor
  • Co-Mentor or Peer Mentor
  • Diversity Mentor
  • Project Mentor
  • Research / Scholarly Mentor
Contact for Mentoring:


650 Albany St Evans Biomed Research Ctr
Boston MA 02118
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