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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Modulation of human immunodeficiency virus 1 replication by interferon regulatory factors.

Transcription of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 is controlled by the cooperation of virally encoded and host regulatory proteins. The Tat protein is essential for viral replication, however, expression of Tat after virus entry requires HIV-1 promoter activation. A sequence in the 5' HIV-1 LTR, containing a binding site for transcription factors of the interferon regulatory factors (IRF) family has been suggested to be critical for HIV-1 transcription and replication. Here we show that IRF-1 activates HIV-1 LTR transcription in a dose-dependent fashion and in the absence of Tat. This has biological significance since IRF-1 is produced early upon virus entry, both in cell lines and in primary CD4+ T cells, and before expression of Tat. IRF-1 also cooperates with Tat in amplifying virus gene transcription and replication. This cooperation depends upon a physical interaction that is blocked by overexpression of IRF-8, the natural repressor of IRF-1, and, in turn is released by overexpression of IRF-1. These data suggest a key role of IRF-1 in the early phase of viral replication and/or during viral reactivation from latency, when viral transactivators are absent or present at very low levels, and suggest that the interplay between IRF-1 and IRF-8 may play a key role in virus latency.[1]


  1. Modulation of human immunodeficiency virus 1 replication by interferon regulatory factors. Sgarbanti, M., Borsetti, A., Moscufo, N., Bellocchi, M.C., Ridolfi, B., Nappi, F., Marsili, G., Marziali, G., Coccia, E.M., Ensoli, B., Battistini, A. J. Exp. Med. (2002) [Pubmed]
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