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Chromatinized templates reveal the requirement for the LEDGF/p75 PWWP domain during HIV-1 integration in vitro

Botbol, Yaïr, Raghavendra, Nidhanapati K., Rahman, Shaila, Engelman, Alan, Lavigne, Marc
Nucleic acids research 2008 v.36 no.4 pp. 1237-1246
DNA-binding domains, HIV infections, Human immunodeficiency virus 1, binding proteins, complementary DNA, ex vivo studies, nucleosomes
Integration is an essential step in the retroviral lifecycle, and the lentiviral integrase binding protein lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF)/p75 plays a crucial role during human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) cDNA integration. In vitro, LEDGF/p75 stimulates HIV-1 integrase activity into naked target DNAs. Here, we demonstrate that this chromatin-associated protein also stimulates HIV-1 integration into reconstituted polynucleosome templates. Activation of integration depended on the LEDGF/p75-integrase interaction with either type of template. A differential requirement for the dominant DNA and chromatin-binding elements of LEDGF/p75 was however observed when using naked DNA versus polynucleosomes. With naked DNA, the complete removal of these N-terminal elements was required to abate cofactor function. With polynucleosomes, activation mainly depended on the PWWP domain, and to a lesser extent on nearby AT-hook DNA-binding motifs. GST pull-down assays furthermore revealed a role for the PWWP domain in binding to nucleosomes. These results are completely consistent with recent ex vivo studies that characterized the PWWP and integrase-binding domains of LEDGF/p75 as crucial for restoring HIV-1 infection to LEDGF-depleted cells. Our studies therefore establish novel in vitro conditions, highlighting chromatinized DNA as target acceptor templates, for physiologically relevant studies of LEDGF/p75 in lentiviral cDNA integration.