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Latency profiles of full length HIV-1 molecular clone variants with a subtype specific promoter.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: HIV-1 transcription initiation depends on cellular transcription factors that bind to promoter sequences in the Long Terminal Repeat (LTR). Each HIV-1 subtype has a specific LTR promoter configuration and even minor sequence changes in the transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) or their arrangement can impact transcriptional activity. Most latency studies have focused on HIV-1 subtype B strains, and the degree to which LTR promoter variation contributes to differences in proviral latency is therefore largely unknown. Latency differences may influence establishment and size of viral reservoirs as well as the possibility to clear the virus by therapeutic intervention. RESULTS: We investigated the proviral transcriptional latency properties of different HIV-1 subtypes as their LTRs have unique assemblies of transcription factor binding sites. We constructed recombinant viral genomes with the subtype-specific promoters inserted in the common backbone of the subtype B LAI isolate. The recombinant viruses are isogenic, except for the core promoter region that encodes all major TFBS, including NF?B and Sp1 sites. We developed and optimized an assay to investigate HIV-1 proviral latency in T cell lines. Our data show that the majority of HIV-1 infected T cells only start viral gene expression after TNF? activation. CONCLUSIONS: There were no gross differences among the subtypes, both in the initial latency level and the activation response, except for subtype AE that combines an increased level of basal transcription with a reduced TNF? response. This subtype AE property is related to the presence of a GABP instead of NF?B binding site in the LTR.

SUBMITTER: van der Sluis RM 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3182984 | BioStudies | 2011-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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