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Virol J. 2010 Aug 2;7:177. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-7-177.

Peptides derived from the HIV-1 integrase promote HIV-1 infection and multi-integration of viral cDNA in LEDGF/p75-knockdown cells.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Safra Campus, Givat Ram, Jerusalem 91904, Israel.



The presence of the cellular Lens Epithelium Derived Growth Factor p75 (LEDGF/p75) protein is essential for integration of the Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) cDNA and for efficient virus production. In the absence of LEDGF/p75 very little integration and virus production can be detected, as was demonstrated using LEDGF/p75-knockdown cells.


Here we show that the failure to infect LEDGF/p75-knockdown cells has another reason aside from the lack of LEDGF/p75. It is also due to inhibition of the viral integrase (IN) enzymatic activity by an early expressed viral Rev protein. The formation of an inhibitory Rev-IN complex in virus-infected cells can be disrupted by the addition of three IN-derived, cell-permeable peptides, designated INr (IN derived-Rev interacting peptides) and INS (IN derived-integrase stimulatory peptide). The results of the present work confirm previous results showing that HIV-1 fails to infect LEDGF/p75-knockdown cells. However, in the presence of INrs and INS peptides, relatively high levels of viral cDNA integration as well as productive virus infection were obtained following infection by a wild type (WT) HIV-1 of LEDGF/p75-knockdown cells.


It appears that the lack of integration observed in HIV-1 infected LEDGF/p75-knockdown cells is due mainly to the inhibitory effect of Rev following the formation of a Rev-IN complex. Disruption of this inhibitory complex leads to productive infection in those cells.

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