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PLoS One. 2010 Mar 15;5(3):e9613. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009613.

Evolutionary constraints acting on DDX3X protein potentially interferes with Rev-mediated nuclear export of HIV-1 RNA.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Virology, National AIDS Research Institute, Indian Council of Medical Research, Bhosari, Pune, India.


Differential host-pathogen interactions direct viral replication in infected cells. In HIV-1 infected cells, nuclear export of viral RNA transcripts into cellular cytoplasm is governed by interaction of HIV-1 Rev, Exportin-1 (CRM-1) and DDX3X. Knock down of DDX3X has been shown to drastically impair HIV replication. Here we show that evolutionary forces are responsible for demarking previously unidentified critical functionally important residues on the surface of DDX3X. Using computational approaches, we show that these functional residues, depending on their location, are capable of regulating ATPase and RNA helicase functions of DDX3X. The potential of these residues in designing better blockers against HIV-1 replication was also assessed. Also, using stepwise docking simulations, we could identify DDX3X-CRM-1 interface and its critical functional residues. Our data would help explain the role of DDX3X in HIV-1 Rev function with potential to design new intervention strategies against HIV-1 replication.

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