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J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2011 Jun;6(2):216-29. doi: 10.1007/s11481-011-9261-z. Epub 2011 Feb 12.

Vpr-host interactions during HIV-1 viral life cycle.

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Department of Pathology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) viral protein R (Vpr) is a multifunctional viral protein that plays important role at multiple stages of the HIV-1 viral life cycle. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying these activities are subject of ongoing investigations, overall, these activities have been linked to promotion of viral replication and impairment of anti-HIV immunity. Importantly, functional defects of Vpr have been correlated with slow disease progression of HIV-infected patients. Vpr is required for efficient viral replication in non-dividing cells such as macrophages, and it promotes, to some extent, viral replication in proliferating CD4+ T cells. The specific activities of Vpr include modulation of fidelity of viral reverse transcription, nuclear import of the HIV-1 pre-integration complex, transactivation of the HIV-1 LTR promoter, induction of cell cycle G2 arrest and cell death via apoptosis. In this review, we focus on description of the cellular proteins that specifically interact with Vpr and discuss their significance with regard to the known Vpr activities at each step of the viral life cycle in proliferating and non-proliferating cells.

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