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Bioessays. 2007 May;29(5):441-51.

Lentiviral nuclear import: a complex interplay between virus and host.

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  • 1Laboratory for Molecular Virology and Gene Therapy, KULeuven and IRC KULAK, Leuven, Belgium.


Although the capacity to infect non-dividing cells is a hallmark of lentiviruses, nuclear import is still barely understood. More than 100 research papers have been dedicated to this topic during the last 15 years, yet, more questions have been raised than answers. The signal-facilitating translocation of the viral preintegration complex (PIC) through the nuclear pore complex (NPC) remains unknown. It is clear, however, that nuclear import is the result of a complex interplay between viral and cellular components. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge on nuclear import. We focus on the controversies and pitfalls and discuss the interplay between virus and host.

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