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Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1087:37-46. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-670-2_4.

The cyclosporin A washout assay to detect HIV-1 uncoating in infected cells.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL, USA.


Uncoating is an early step of HIV-1 replication in which the viral capsid disassembles by p24 capsid (p24(CA)) protein dissociating from the viral complex. Although uncoating is required for HIV-1 replication, many questions remain about the mechanism of this process as well as its impact on other steps in viral replication. Here we describe a recently developed assay to study the process of uncoating in HIV-1-infected cells. The CsA washout assay is a cell-based assay that utilizes the HIV-1 restriction factor TRIM-CypA to detect and inhibit infection of coated viral complexes. Owl monkey kidney (OMK) cells are infected with a GFP reporter virus and TRIM-CypA restriction is switched on at various times postinfection allowing the kinetics of uncoating to be monitored in infected cells. This assay also can be used to examine the effect of different viral or cellular factors on the process of uncoating.

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