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J Virol. 2014 Jan;88(1):364-76. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02682-13. Epub 2013 Oct 23.

Kinase control of latent HIV-1 infection: PIM-1 kinase as a major contributor to HIV-1 reactivation.

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Department of Medicine, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.


Despite the clinical relevance of latent HIV-1 infection as a block to HIV-1 eradication, the molecular biology of HIV-1 latency remains incompletely understood. We recently demonstrated the presence of a gatekeeper kinase function that controls latent HIV-1 infection. Using kinase array analysis, we here expand on this finding and demonstrate that the kinase activity profile of latently HIV-1-infected T cells is altered relative to that of uninfected T cells. A ranking of altered kinases generated from these kinome profile data predicted PIM-1 kinase as a key switch involved in HIV-1 latency control. Using genetic and pharmacologic perturbation strategies, we demonstrate that PIM-1 activity is indeed required for HIV-1 reactivation in T cell lines and primary CD4 T cells. The presented results thus confirm that kinases are key contributors to HIV-1 latency control. In addition, through mutational studies we link the inhibitory effect of PIM-1 inhibitor IV (PIMi IV) on HIV-1 reactivation to an AP-1 motif in the CD28-responsive element of the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR). The results expand our conceptual understanding of the dynamic interactions of the host cell and the latent HIV-1 integration event and position kinome profiling as a research tool to reveal novel molecular mechanisms that can eventually be targeted to therapeutically trigger HIV-1 reactivation.

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