Hashim Ali, member of the Molecular Medicine Group at ICGEB Trieste, together with long-term collaborators of the laboratory publish their latest finding on HIV-1 infection – and the future looks bright.
Cellular TRIM33 restrains HIV-1 infection by targeting viral integrase for proteasomal degradation.
Productive HIV-1 replication requires viral integrase (IN), which catalyzes integration of the viral genome into the host cell DNA. IN, however, is short lived and is rapidly degraded by the host ubiquitin-proteasome system. To identify the cellular factors responsible for HIV-1 IN degradation, we performed a targeted RNAi screen using a library of siRNAs against all components of the ubiquitin-conjugation machinery using high-content microscopy. Here we report that the E3 RING ligase TRIM33 is a major determinant of HIV-1 IN stability. CD4-positive cells with TRIM33 knock down show increased HIV-1 replication and proviral DNA formation, while those overexpressing the factor display opposite effects. Knock down of TRIM33 reverts the phenotype of an HIV-1 molecular clone carrying substitution of IN serine 57 to alanine, a mutation known to impair viral DNA integration. Thus, TRIM33 acts as a cellular factor restricting HIV-1 infection by preventing provirus formation.
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