HIV-1 is a RNA virus that requires an intermediate DNA phase via reverse transcription (RT) step in order to establish productive infection in the host cell. The nascent viral DNA synthesized via RT step and the preformed viral proteins are assembled into pre-integration complex (PIC) in the cell cytoplasm. To integrate the viral DNA into the host genome, the PIC must cross cell nuclear membrane through the nuclear pore complex (NPC). RanBP2, also known as Nup358, is a major component of the cytoplasmic filaments that emanates from the nuclear pore complex and has been implicated in various nucleo-cytoplasmic transport pathways including those for HIV Rev-protein. We sought to investigate the role of RanBP2 in HIV-1 replication. In our investigations, we found that RanBP2 depletion via RNAi resulted in profound inhibition of HIV-1 infection and played a pivotal role in the nuclear entry of HIV DNA. More precisely, there was a profound decline in 2-LTR DNA copies (marker for nuclear entry of HIV DNA) and an unchanged level of viral reverse transcription in RanBP2-ablated HIV-infected cells compared to RanBP3-depleted or non-specific siRNA controls. We further demonstrated that the function of Rev was unaffected in RanBP2-depleted latently HIV infected cells (reactivated). We also serendipitously found that RanBP2 depletion inhibited the global ectopic gene expression. In conclusion, RanBP2 is a host factor that is involved in the nuclear import of HIV-1 PIC (DNA), but is not critical to the nuclear export of the viral mRNAs or nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling of Rev. RanBP2 could be a potential target for efficient inhibition of HIV. © 2010 Zhang et al.
Zhang, R., Mehla, R., & Chauhan, A. (2010). Perturbation of host nuclear membrane component RanBP2 impairs the nuclear import of human immunodeficiency virus -1 preintegration complex (DNA). PLoS ONE, 5(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0015620