Competition between PAF1 and MLL1/COMPASS confers the opposing function of LEDGF/p75 in HIV latency and proviral reactivation

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Science Advances  13 May 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 20, eaaz8411
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz8411


Transcriptional status determines the HIV replicative state in infected patients. However, the transcriptional mechanisms for proviral replication control remain unclear. In this study, we show that, apart from its function in HIV integration, LEDGF/p75 differentially regulates HIV transcription in latency and proviral reactivation. During latency, LEDGF/p75 suppresses proviral transcription via promoter-proximal pausing of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) by recruiting PAF1 complex to the provirus. Following latency reversal, MLL1 complex competitively displaces PAF1 from the provirus through casein kinase II (CKII)–dependent association with LEDGF/p75. Depleting or pharmacologically inhibiting CKII prevents PAF1 dissociation and abrogates the recruitment of both MLL1 and Super Elongation Complex (SEC) to the provirus, thereby impairing transcriptional reactivation for latency reversal. These findings, therefore, provide a mechanistic understanding of how LEDGF/p75 coordinates its distinct regulatory functions at different stages of the post-integrated HIV life cycles. Targeting these mechanisms may have a therapeutic potential to eradicate HIV infection.

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