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J Virol. 2011 Aug;85(15):7818-27. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00325-11. Epub 2011 May 18.

The requirement for nucleoporin NUP153 during human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection is determined by the viral capsid.

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Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, CLS-1010, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Lentiviruses likely infect nondividing cells by commandeering host nuclear transport factors to facilitate the passage of their preintegration complexes (PICs) through nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) within nuclear envelopes. Genome-wide small interfering RNA screens previously identified karyopherin β transportin-3 (TNPO3) and NPC component nucleoporin 153 (NUP153) as being important for infection by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The knockdown of either protein significantly inhibited HIV-1 infectivity, while infection by the gammaretrovirus Moloney murine leukemia virus (MLV) was unaffected. Here, we establish that primate lentiviruses are particularly sensitive to NUP153 knockdown and investigate HIV-1-encoded elements that contribute to this dependency. Mutants lacking functional Vpr or the central DNA flap remained sensitive to NUP153 depletion, while MLV/HIV-1 chimera viruses carrying MLV matrix, capsid, or integrase became less sensitive when the latter two elements were substituted. Two capsid missense mutant viruses, N74D and P90A, were largely insensitive to NUP153 depletion, as was wild-type HIV-1 when cyclophilin A was depleted simultaneously or when infection was conducted in the presence of cyclosporine A. The codepletion of NUP153 and TNPO3 yielded synergistic effects that outweighed those calculated based on individual knockdowns, indicating potential interdependent roles for these factors during HIV-1 infection. Quantitative PCR revealed normal levels of late reverse transcripts, a moderate reduction of 2-long terminal repeat (2-LTR) circles, and a relatively large reduction in integrated proviruses upon NUP153 knockdown. These results suggest that capsid, likely by the qualities of its uncoating, determines whether HIV-1 requires cellular NUP153 for PIC nuclear import.

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