Epigenetic Mechanisms of HIV-1 Persistence

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Roxane Verdikt † , Olivier Hernalsteens and Carine Van Lint

Verdikt, R. † , Hernalsteens, O and Van Lint, C. (2021) Epigenetic Mechanisms of HIV-1 Persistence. Vaccines, 9, 514. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9050514


Abstract : Eradicating HIV-1 in infected individuals will not be possible without addressing the persistence of the virus in its multiple reservoirs. In this context, the molecular characterization of HIV-1 persistence is key for the development of rationalized therapeutic interventions. HIV-1 geneexpression relies on the redundant and cooperative recruitment of cellular epigenetic machineries to cis-regulatory proviral regions. Furthermore, the complex repertoire of HIV-1 repression mechanisms varies depending on the nature of the viral reservoir, although, so far, few studies have addressed the specific regulatory mechanisms of HIV-1 persistence in other reservoirs than the well-studied latently infected CD4+ T cells. Here, we present an exhaustive and updated picture of the heterochromatinization of the HIV-1 promoter in its different reservoirs. We highlight the complexity, heterogeneity and dynamics of the epigenetic mechanisms of HIV-1 persistence, while discussing the importance of further understanding HIV-1 gene regulation for the rational design of novel HIV-1 cure strategies. 
Keywords : HIV-1 latency; HIV-1 persistence; reservoirs; epigenetics


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