Novel regulation of HIV-1 replication and pathogenicity: Rev inhibition of integration

Aviad Levin, Zvi Hayouka, Ruth Brack-Werner, David J. Volsky, Assaf Friedler, Abraham Loyter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Following fusion of the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) with host cells' membrane and reverse transcription of the viral RNA, the resulted cDNA is integrated into the host genome by the viral integrase enzyme (IN). Quantitative estimations have revealed that only 1-2 copies are integrated per infected cell, although many copies of the viral RNA are reverse-transcribed. The molecular mechanism that restricts the integration degree has not, so far, been elucidated. Following integration, expressed partially spliced and unspliced transcripts are exported from the nuclei by the viral Rev protein. Here, we show that in virally infected cells, the Rev interacts with the IN forming a Rev-IN complex and consequently limits the number of integration events. Disruption of the Rev-IN complex by selected IN-derived peptides or infection by a Rev-deficient virus stimulate integration resulting in large numbers of integration event/cell. Conversely, infection of Rev-expression cells blocks integration and inhibits virus production. Increased integration appears to correlate with increased cell death of infected cultures. Our results thus demonstrate a new regulatory function of Rev and probably establish a link between Rev restriction of HIV-1 integration and protection of HIV-1-infected cells from premature cell death.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)753-763
Number of pages11
JournalProtein Engineering, Design and Selection
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Israeli Science Foundation (A.L.), by a starting grant from the European Research Council (ERC) (A.F.) and D.J.V. was supported by grant DA17618 from NINDA, NIH.


  • Cell death
  • HIV-1
  • Integrase
  • Integration regulation
  • Rev


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