Chromatin remodeling is an essential event for HIV-1 transcription. Over the last two decades this field of research has come to the forefront, as silencing of the HIV-1 provirus through chromatin modifications has been linked to latency. Here, we focus on chromatin remodeling, especially in relation to the transactivator Tat, and review the most important and newly emerging studies that investigate remodeling mechanisms. We begin by discussing covalent modifications that can alter chromatin structure including acetylation, deacetylation, and methylation, as well as topics addressing the interplay between chromatin remodeling and splicing. Next, we focus on complexes that use the energy of ATP to remove or secure nucleosomes and can additionally act to control HIV-1 transcription. Finally, we cover recent literature on viral microRNAs which have been shown to alter chromatin structure by inducing methylation or even by remodeling nucleosomes.
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