The presence of a small number of infected but transcriptionally dormant cells currently thwarts a cure for the more than 35 million individuals infected with HIV. Reactivation of these latently infected cells may result in three fates: 1) cell death due to a viral cytopathic effect, 2) cell death due to immune clearance, or 3) a retreat into latency. Uncovering the dynamics of HIV gene expression and silencing in the latent reservoir will be crucial for developing an HIV-1 cure. Here we identify and characterize an intracellular circuit involving TRIM32, an HIV activator, and miR-155, a microRNA that may promote a return to latency in these transiently activated reservoir cells. Notably, we demonstrate that TRIM32, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, promotes reactivation from latency by directly modifying IκBα, leading to a novel mechanism of NF-κB induction not involving IκB kinase activation.
Keywords: HIV-1 latency; IκBα; NF-kappa B (NF-KB); TRIM32; microRNA (miRNA); molecular biology; viral transcription; virology.
© 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.