Role of cellular iron and oxygen in the regulation of HIV-1 infection

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Despite efficient antiretroviral therapy, eradication of HIV-1 infection is challenging and requires novel biological insights and therapeutic strategies. Among other physiological and environmental factors, intracellular iron greatly affects HIV-1 replication. Higher iron stores were shown to be associated with faster progression of HIV-1 infection and to inversely correlate with the survival of HIV-1 infected patients. Iron is required for several steps in the HIV-1 life cycle, including reverse transcription, HIV-1 gene expression and capsid assembly. Here, the authors present a comprehensive review of the molecular mechanisms involved in iron-and oxygen-mediated regulation of HIV-1 replication. We also propose key intracellular pathways that may be involved in regulating HIV-1 replication via protein kinase complexes, CDK9/cyclin T1 and CDK2/cyclin E, protein phosphatase-1 and other host factors. © 2013 Future Medicine Ltd.

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