Target cell overexpression of the integrase binding domain (IBD) of LEDGF/p75 (LEDGF) inhibits HIV-1 replication. The mechanism and protein structure requirements for this dominant interference are unclear. More generally, how and when HIV-1 uncoating occurs postentry is poorly defined, and it is unknown whether integrase within the evolving viral core becomes accessible to cellular proteins prior to nuclear entry. We used LEDGF dominant interference to address the latter question while characterizing determinants of IBD antiviral activity. Fusions of green fluorescent protein (GFP) with multiple C-terminal segments of LEDGF inhibited HIV-1 replication substantially, but minimal chimeras of either polarity (GFP-IBD or IBD-GFP) were most effective. Combining GFP-IBD expression with LEDGF depletion was profoundly antiviral. CD4+ T cell lines were rendered virtually uninfectable, with single-cycle HIV-1 infectivity reduced 4 logs and high-input (multiplicity of infection = 5.0) replication completely blocked. We restricted GFP-IBD to specific intracellular locations and found that antiviral activity was preserved when the protein was confined to the cytoplasm or directed to the nuclear envelope. The life cycle block triggered by the cytoplasm-restricted protein manifested after nuclear entry, at the level of integration. We conclude that integrase within the viral core becomes accessible to host cell protein interaction in the cytoplasm. LEDGF dominant interference and depletion impair HIV-1 integration at distinct postentry stages. GFP-IBD may trigger premature or improper integrase oligomerization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science