Macrophages are ubiquitous and represent a significant viral reservoir for HIV-1. Macrophages are nondividing, terminally differentiated cells, which have a unique cellular microenvironment relative to actively dividing T lymphocytes, all of which can impact HIV-1 infection/replication, design of inhibitors targeting viral replication in these cells, emergence of mutations within the HIV-1 genome, and disease progression. Scarce dNTPs drive rNTP incorporation into the proviral DNA in macrophages but not lymphocytes. Furthermore, the efficacy of a ribose-based inhibitor that potently inhibits HIV-1 replication in macrophages, has prompted a reconsideration of the previously accepted dogma that 2′-deoxy-based inhibitors demonstrate effective inhibition of HIV-1 replication. Additionally, higher levels of dUTP and rNTP incorporation in macrophages, and lack of repair mechanisms relative to lymphocytes, provide a further mechanistic understanding required to develop targeted inhibition of viral replication in macrophages. Together, the concentrations of dNTPs and rNTPs within macrophages comprise a distinctive cellular environment that directly impacts HIV-1 replication in macrophages and provides unique insight into novel therapeutic mechanisms that could be exploited to eliminate virus from these cells.
Gavegnano, C., Kennedy, E. M., Kim, B., & Schinazi, R. F. (2012). The Impact of Macrophage Nucleotide Pools on HIV-1 Reverse Transcription, Viral Replication, and the Development of Novel Antiviral Agents. Molecular Biology International, 2012, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/625983