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PLoS Pathog. 2012;8(3):e1002558. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002558. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

LEDGF/p75-independent HIV-1 replication demonstrates a role for HRP-2 and remains sensitive to inhibition by LEDGINs.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Medicine, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Flanders, Belgium.


Lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF/p75) is a cellular cofactor of HIV-1 integrase (IN) that interacts with IN through its IN binding domain (IBD) and tethers the viral pre-integration complex to the host cell chromatin. Here we report the generation of a human somatic LEDGF/p75 knockout cell line that allows the study of spreading HIV-1 infection in the absence of LEDGF/p75. By homologous recombination the exons encoding the LEDGF/p75 IBD (exons 11 to 14) were knocked out. In the absence of LEDGF/p75 replication of laboratory HIV-1 strains was severely delayed while clinical HIV-1 isolates were replication-defective. The residual replication was predominantly mediated by the Hepatoma-derived growth factor related protein 2 (HRP-2), the only cellular protein besides LEDGF/p75 that contains an IBD. Importantly, the recently described IN-LEDGF/p75 inhibitors (LEDGINs) remained active even in the absence of LEDGF/p75 by blocking the interaction with the IBD of HRP-2. These results further support the potential of LEDGINs as allosteric integrase inhibitors.

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