Objective: The goal of this study was to investigate whether the location of HIV integration differs in resting versus activated T cells, a feature that could contribute to the formation of latent viral reservoirs via effects on integration targeting.
Design: Primary resting or activated CD4 T cells were infected with purified X4-tropic HIV in the presence and absence of nucleoside triphosphates and genomic locations of integrated provirus determined.
Methods: We sequenced and analyzed a total of 2661 HIV integration sites using linker-mediated PCR and 454 sequencing. Integration site data sets were then compared to each other and to computationally generated random distributions.
Results: HIV integration was favored in active transcription units in both cell types, but integration sites from activated cells were found more often in genomic regions that were dense in genes, dense in CpG islands, and enriched in G/C bases. Integration sites from activated cells were also more strongly correlated with histone methylation patterns associated with active genes.
Conclusion: These data indicate that integration site distributions show modest but significant differences between resting and activated CD4 T cells, and that integration in resting cells occurs more often in regions that may be suboptimal for proviral gene expression.