Understanding HIV-1-host interactions can identify the cellular environment supporting HIV-1 reactivation and mechanisms of clonal expansion. We developed HIV-1 SortSeq to isolate rare HIV-1-infected cells from virally suppressed, HIV-1-infected individuals upon early latency reversal. Single-cell transcriptome analysis of HIV-1 SortSeq+ cells revealed enrichment of nonsense-mediated RNA decay and viral transcription pathways. HIV-1 SortSeq+ cells up-regulated cellular factors that can support HIV-1 transcription (IMPDH1 and JAK1) or promote cellular survival (IL2 and IKBKB). HIV-1-host RNA landscape analysis at the integration site revealed that HIV-1 drives high aberrant host gene transcription downstream, but not upstream, of the integration site through HIV-1-to-host aberrant splicing, in which HIV-1 RNA splices into the host RNA and aberrantly drives host RNA transcription. HIV-1-induced aberrant transcription was driven by the HIV-1 promoter as shown by CRISPR-dCas9-mediated HIV-1-specific activation and could be suppressed by CRISPR-dCas9-mediated inhibition of HIV-1 5' long terminal repeat. Overall, we identified cellular factors supporting HIV-1 reactivation and HIV-1-driven aberrant host gene transcription as potential therapeutic targets to disrupt HIV-1 persistence.
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