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Nucleic Acids Res. 2005 Feb 17;33(3):977-86. Print 2005.

HIV-1 integrase crosslinked oligomers are active in vitro.

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CNRS UMR 5097, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, IFR 66 Pathologies Infectieuses et Cancers 146 rue Léo Saignat, 33076 Bordeaux cedex, France.


The oligomeric state of active human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) integrase (IN) has not been clearly elucidated. We analyzed the activity of the different purified oligomeric forms of recombinant IN obtained after stabilization by platinum crosslinking. The crosslinked tetramer isolated by gel chromatography was able to catalyze the full-site integration of the two viral LTR ends into a target DNA in vitro, whereas the isolated dimeric form of the enzyme was involved in the processing and integration of only one viral end. Accurate concerted integration by IN tetramers was confirmed by cloning and sequencing. Kinetic studies of DNA-integrase complexes led us to propose a model explaining the formation of an active complex. Our data suggest that the tetrameric IN bound to the viral DNA ends is the minimal complex involved in the concerted integration of both LTRs and should be the oligomeric form targeted by future inhibitors.

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