Selective Transcription and Modulation of Resting T Cell Activity by Preintegrated HIV DNA

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Science  24 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5534, pp. 1503-1506
DOI: 10.1126/science.1061548

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The quiescent nature of most peripheral T cells poses an effective limitation to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication and, in particular, to viral integration into the host chromatin. Two HIV proteins, Nef and Tat, increase T cell activity, but a requirement of integration for viral gene expression would preclude a role for these proteins in resting cells. Here, we report that HIV infection leads to selective transcription of the nef andtat genes before integration. This preintegration transcription in quiescent cells leads to increased T cell activation and viral replication.

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