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Identification of host proteins associated with HIV-1 preintegration complexes isolated from infected CD4+ cells

Nidhanapati K Raghavendra1, Nikolozi Shkriabai2, Robert LJ Graham3, Sonja Hess3, Mamuka Kvaratskhelia2 and Li Wu1*

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Retrovirus Research, Department of Veterinary Biosciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA

2 Center for Retrovirus Research and Comprehensive Cancer Center, College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA

3 Proteome Exploration Laboratory, Beckman Institute, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA

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Retrovirology 2010, 7:66  doi:10.1186/1742-4690-7-66

Published: 11 August 2010


An integrated HIV-1 genomic DNA leads to an infected cell becoming either an active or a latent virus-producing cell. Upon appropriate activation, a latently infected cell can result in production of progeny viruses that spread the infection to uninfected cells. The host proteins influence several steps of HIV-1 infection including formation of the preintegration complex (PIC), a key nucleoprotein intermediate essential for integration of reverse transcribed viral DNA into the chromosome. Much effort has gone into the identification of host proteins contributing to the assembly of functional PICs. Experimental approaches included the use of yeast two-hybrid system, co-immunoprecipitation, affinity tagged HIV-1 viral proteins and in vitro reconstitution of salt-stripped PIC activity. Several host proteins identified using these approaches have been shown to affect HIV-1 replication in cells and influence catalytic activities of recombinant IN in vitro. However, the comprehensive identification and characterization of host proteins associated with HIV-1 PICs of infected cells have been hindered in part by the technical limitation in acquiring sufficient amount of catalytically active PICs. To efficiently identify additional host factors associated with PICs in infected cells, we have developed the following novel approach. The catalytically active PICs from HIV-1-infected CD4+ cells were isolated using biotinylated target DNA, and the proteins selectively co-purifying with PICs have been analyzed by mass spectrometry. This technology enabled us to reveal at least 19 host proteins that are associated with HIV-1 PICs, of which 18 proteins have not been described previously with respect to HIV-1 integration. Physiological functions of the identified proteins range from chromatin organization to protein transport. A detailed characterization of these host proteins could provide new insights into the mechanism of HIV-1 integration and uncover new antiviral targets to block HIV-1 integration.