Nuclear import of viral cDNA is a critical step for establishing the proviral state of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The contribution of HIV-1 integrase (IN) to the nuclear import of viral cDNA is controversial, partly due to a lack of identification of its bona fide nuclear localization signal. In this study, to address this putative function of HIV-1 IN, the effects of mutations at key residues for viral cDNA recognition (PYNP at positions 142 to 145, K156, K159, and K160) were evaluated in the context of viral replication. During acute infection, some mutations (N144Q, PYNP>KL, and KKK>AAA) severely reduced viral gene expression to less than 1% the wild-type (WT) level. None of the mutations affected the synthesis of viral cDNA. Meanwhile, the levels of integrated viral cDNA produced by N144Q, PYNP>KL, and KKK>AAA mutants were severely reduced to less than 1% the WT level. Quantitative PCR analysis of viral cDNA in nuclei and fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed that these mutations significantly reduced the level of viral cDNA accumulation in nuclei. Further analysis revealed that IN proteins carrying the N144Q, PYNP>KL, and KKK>AAA mutations showed severely reduced binding to viral cDNA but kept their karyophilic properties. Taken together, these results indicate that mutations that reduced the binding of IN to viral cDNA resulted in severe impairment of virus infectivity, most likely by affecting the nuclear import of viral cDNA that proceeds integration. These results suggest that HIV-1 IN may be one of the critical constituents for the efficient nuclear import of viral cDNA.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Virology|
|Publication status||Published - 11-2004|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science