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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 May 3;1575(1-3):40-8.

HIV-1 integrase interacts with yeast microtubule-associated proteins.

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UMR 5097 CNRS-Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, BP 103, Bat. 3A-3 Etage, 146 rue Léo Saignat, 33076 Bordeaux X Cedex, France.


The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) integrase (IN) mediates the insertion of viral DNA into the human genome. In addition to IN, cellular and viral proteins are associated to proviral DNA in the so-called preintegration complex (PIC). We previously reported that the expression of HIV-1 IN in yeast leads to the emergence of a lethal phenotype. This effect may be linked to the IN activity on infected human cells where integration requires the cleavage of genomic DNA. To isolate and characterize potential cellular partners of HIV-1 IN, we used it as a bait in a two-hybrid system with a yeast genomic library. IN interacted with proteins belonging to the microtubule network, or involved in the protein synthesis apparatus. We focused our interest on one of the selected inserts, L2, which corresponds to the C-end half of the yeast STU2p, a microtubule-associated protein (MAP). STU2p is an essential component of the yeast spindle pole body (SPB), which is able to bind microtubules in vitro. After expressing and purifying L2 as a recombinant protein, we showed its binding to IN by ELISA immunodetection. L2 was also able to inhibit IN activity in vitro. In addition, the effect of L2 was tested using the "lethal yeast phenotype". The coexpression of IN and the L2 peptide abolished the lethal phenotype, thus showing important in vivo interactions between IN and L2. The identification of components of the microtubule network associated with IN suggest a role of this complex in the transport of HIV-1 IN present in the PIC to the nucleus, as already described for other human viruses.

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