A quantitative assay for HIV DNA integration in vivo

Nat Med. 2001 May;7(5):631-4. doi: 10.1038/87979.


Early steps of infection by HIV-1 involve entry of the viral core into cells, reverse transcription to form the linear viral DNA, and integration of that DNA into a chromosome of the host. The unintegrated DNA can also follow non-productive pathways, in which it is circularized by recombination between DNA long-terminal repeats (LTRs), circularized by ligation of the DNA ends or degraded. Here we report quantitative methods that monitor formation of reverse transcription products, two-LTR circles and integrated proviruses. The integration assay employs a novel quantitative form of Alu-PCR that should be generally applicable to studies of integrating viruses and gene transfer vectors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / pharmacology
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Viral / genetics*
  • Fluorescence
  • HIV-1 / drug effects
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Virus Integration* / drug effects
  • Virus Replication


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Viral