A Role for DNA-PK in Retroviral DNA Integration

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Science  23 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5414, pp. 644-647
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5414.644

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Retroviral DNA integration is catalyzed by the viral protein integrase. Here, it is shown that DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), a host cell protein, also participates in the reaction. DNA-PK-deficient murine scid cells infected with three different retroviruses showed a substantial reduction in retroviral DNA integration and died by apoptosis. Scid cell killing was not observed after infection with an integrase-defective virus, suggesting that abortive integration is the trigger for death in these DNA repair–deficient cells. These results suggest that the initial events in retroviral integration are detected as DNA damage by the host cell and that completion of the integration process requires the DNA-PK–mediated repair pathway.

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