Comprehensively elucidating the molecular mechanisms of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) latency is a priority to achieve a functional cure. As current 'shock' agents failed to efficiently reactivate the latent reservoir, it is important to discover new targets for developing more efficient latency-reversing agents (LRAs). Here, we found that TRIM28 potently suppresses HIV-1 expression by utilizing both SUMO E3 ligase activity and epigenetic adaptor function. Through global site-specific SUMO-MS study and serial SUMOylation assays, we identified that P-TEFb catalytic subunit CDK9 is significantly SUMOylated by TRIM28 with SUMO4. The Lys44, Lys56 and Lys68 residues on CDK9 are SUMOylated by TRIM28, which inhibits CDK9 kinase activity or prevents P-TEFb assembly by directly blocking the interaction between CDK9 and Cyclin T1, subsequently inhibits viral transcription and contributes to HIV-1 latency. The manipulation of TRIM28 and its consequent SUMOylation pathway could be the target for developing LRAs.
Keywords: HIV-1 Latency; P-TEFb; SUMOylation; TRIM28; human; infectious disease; latency-reversing agents; microbiology; promoter-proximal pausing; virus.
© 2019, Ma et al.