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Nat Microbiol. 2018 Oct 8. doi: 10.1038/s41564-018-0256-x. [Epub ahead of print]

Primate immunodeficiency virus proteins Vpx and Vpr counteract transcriptional repression of proviruses by the HUSH complex.

Author information

1
Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.
2
Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA. jeremy.luban@umassmed.edu.
3
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA. jeremy.luban@umassmed.edu.

Abstract

Host factors that silence provirus transcription in CD4+ memory T cells help HIV-1 escape eradication by the host immune system and by antiviral drugs1. These same factors, however, must be overcome for HIV-1 to propagate. Here we show that Vpx and Vpr encoded by diverse primate immunodeficiency viruses activate provirus transcription. Vpx and Vpr are adaptor proteins for the DCAF1-CUL4A/B E3 ubiquitin ligase that degrade SAMHD1 and increase reverse transcription2-4. Nonetheless, Vpx and Vpr have effects on reporter gene expression that are not explained by SAMHD1 degradation5-8. A screen for factors that mimic these effects identified the human silencing hub (HUSH) complex, FAM208A (TASOR/RAP140), MPHOSPH8 (MPP8), PPHLN1 (PERIPHILIN) and MORC29-13. Vpx associated with the HUSH complex and decreased steady-state level of these proteins in a DCAF1/CUL4A/B/proteasome-dependent manner14,15. Replication kinetics of HIV-1 and SIVMAC was accelerated to a similar extent by vpx or FAM208A knockdown. Finally, vpx increased steady-state levels of LINE-1 ORF1p, as previously described for FAM208A disruption11. These results demonstrate that the HUSH complex represses primate immunodeficiency virus transcription, and that, to counteract this restriction, viral Vpx or Vpr proteins degrade the HUSH complex.

PMID:
30297740
DOI:
10.1038/s41564-018-0256-x

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