Transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of HIV-1 gene expression: role of cellular factors for Tat and Rev.

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The emergence of drug-resistant HIV-1 strains presents a challenge for the design of new therapy. Targeting host cell factors that regulate HIV-1 replication might be one way to overcome the propensity for HIV-1 to mutate in order to develop resistance to antivirals. This article reviews the interplay between viral proteins Tat and Rev and their cellular cofactors in the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of HIV-1 gene expression. HIV-1 Tat regulates viral transcription by recruiting cellular factors to the HIV promoter. Tat interacts with protein kinase complexes Cdk9/cyclin T1 and Cdk2/cyclin E; acetyltransferases p300/CBP, p300/CBP-associated factor and hGCN5; protein phosphatases and other factors. HIV-1 Rev regulates post-transcriptional processing of viral mRNAs. Rev primarily functions to export unspliced and partially spliced viral RNAs from the nucleus into the cytoplasm. For this activity, Rev cooperates with cellular transport protein CRM1 and RNA helicases DDX1 and DDX3, amongst others.

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