A structural model of the HIV-1 Rev-integrase complex: The molecular basis of integrase regulation by Rev

Hadar Benyamini, Abraham Loyter, Assaf Friedler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The HIV-1 Rev and integrase (IN) proteins control important functions in the viral life cycle. We have recently discovered that the interaction between these proteins results in inhibition of IN enzymatic activity. Peptides derived from the Rev and IN binding interfaces have a profound effect on IN catalytic activity: Peptides derived from Rev inhibit IN, while peptides derived from IN stimulate IN activity by inhibiting the Rev-IN interaction. This inhibition leads to multi integration, genomic instability and specific death of virus-infected cells. Here we used protein docking combined with refinement and energy function ranking to suggest a structural model for the Rev-IN complex. Our results indicate that a Rev monomer binds IN at two sites that match our experimental binding data: (1) IN residues 66-80 and 118-128; (2) IN residues 174-188. According to our model, IN binds Rev and its cellular cofactor, lens epithelium derived growth factor (LEDGF), through overlapping interfaces. This supports previous observations that IN is regulated by a tight interplay between Rev and LEDGF. Rev may bind either the IN dimer or tetramer. Accordingly, Rev is suggested to inhibit IN by two possible mechanisms: (i) shifting the oligomerization equilibrium of IN from an active dimer to an inactive tetramer; (ii) displacing LEDGF from IN, resulting in inhibition of IN binding to the viral DNA. Our model is expected to contribute to the development of lead compounds that inhibit the Rev-IN interaction and thus lead to multi-integration of viral cDNA and consequently to apoptosis of HIV-1 infected cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)252-257
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 16 Dec 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
AF is supported by a starting grant from the European Research Council under the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC Grant agreement no. 203413. This study was supported by a grant from a postdoctoral fellowship from the Israel Cancer Research Foundation (ICRF) (for HB). We thank Efrat Mashiach and Aviad Levin.


  • Docking
  • HIV-1
  • Integrase
  • Modeling
  • Peptides
  • Protein-protein interaction
  • Rev


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