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Retrovirology. 2011 Apr 21;8:27. doi: 10.1186/1742-4690-8-27.

HIV-1 integrase modulates the interaction of the HIV-1 cellular cofactor LEDGF/p75 with chromatin.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, 500 West University Ave, El Paso, TX 79968, USA.



Chromatin binding plays a central role in the molecular mechanism of LEDGF/p75 in HIV-1 DNA integration. Conflicting results have been reported in regards to the relevance of the LEDGF/p75 chromatin binding element PWWP domain in its HIV-1 cofactor activity.


Here we present evidence that re-expression of a LEDGF/p75 mutant lacking the PWWP domain (ΔPWWP) rescued HIV-1 infection in cells verified to express background levels of endogenous LEDGF/p75 that do not support efficient HIV-1 infection. The HIV-1 cofactor activity of LEDGF/p75 ΔPWWP was similar to that of LEDGF/p75 wild type (WT). A possible molecular explanation for the nonessential role of PWWP domain in the HIV-1 cofactor activity of LEDGF/p75 comes from the fact that coexpression of HIV-1 integrase significantly restored the impaired chromatin binding activity of LEDGF/p75 ΔPWWP. However, integrase failed to promote chromatin binding of a non-chromatin bound LEDGF/p75 mutant that lacks both the PWWP domain and the AT hook motifs (ΔPWWP/AT) and that exhibits negligible HIV-1 cofactor activity. The effect of integrase on the chromatin binding of LEDGF/p75 requires the direct interaction of these two proteins. An HIV-1 integrase mutant, unable to interact with LEDGF/p75, failed to enhance chromatin binding, whereas integrase wild type did not increase the chromatin binding strength of a LEDGF/p75 mutant lacking the integrase binding domain (ΔIBD).


Our data reveal that the PWWP domain of LEDGF/p75 is not essential for its HIV-1 cofactor activity, possibly due to an integrase-mediated increase of the chromatin binding strength of this LEDGF/p75 mutant.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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