The transcriptional co-activator LEDGF/p75 displays a dynamic scan-and-lock mechanism for chromatin tethering

Laboratory for Biomolecular Dynamics, University of Leuven, Leuven, Flanders, B-3000, Belgium.
Nucleic Acids Research (Impact Factor: 8.81). 10/2010; 39(4):1310-25. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkq933
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Nearly all cellular and disease related functions of the transcriptional co-activator lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF/p75) involve tethering of interaction partners to chromatin via its conserved integrase binding domain (IBD), but little is known about the mechanism of in vivo chromatin binding and tethering. In this work we studied LEDGF/p75 in real-time in living HeLa cells combining different quantitative fluorescence techniques: spot fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (sFRAP) and half-nucleus fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (hnFRAP), continuous photobleaching, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and an improved FCS method to study diffusion dependence of chromatin binding, tunable focus FCS. LEDGF/p75 moves about in nuclei of living cells in a chromatin hopping/scanning mode typical for transcription factors. The PWWP domain of LEDGF/p75 is necessary, but not sufficient for in vivo chromatin binding. After interaction with HIV-1 integrase via its IBD, a general protein-protein interaction motif, kinetics of LEDGF/p75 shift to 75-fold larger affinity for chromatin. The PWWP is crucial for locking the complex on chromatin. We propose a scan-and-lock model for LEDGF/p75, unifying paradoxical notions of transcriptional co-activation and lentiviral integration targeting.

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    ABSTRACT: The dynamic interaction between HIV and its host governs the replication of the virus and the study of the virus-host interplay is key to understand the viral lifecycle. The host factor lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF/p75) tethers the HIV preintegration complex to the chromatin through a direct interaction with integrase (IN). Small molecules that bind the LEDGF/p75 binding pocket of the HIV IN dimer (LEDGINs) block HIV replication through a multimodal mechanism impacting early and late stage replication including HIV maturation. Furthermore, LEDGF/p75 has been identified as a Pol interaction partner. This raised the question whether LEDGF/p75 besides acting as a molecular tether in the target cell, also affects late steps of HIV replication. LEDGF/p75 is recruited into HIV-1 particles through direct interaction with the viral IN (or Pol polyprotein) and is a substrate for HIV-1 protease. Incubation in the presence of HIV-1 protease inhibitors resulted in detection of full-length LEDGF/p75 in purified viral particles. We also demonstrate that inhibition of LEDGF/p75-IN interaction by specific mutants or LEDGINs precludes incorporation of LEDGF/p75 in virions, underscoring the specificity of the uptake. LEDGF/p75 depletion did however not result in altered LEDGIN potency. Together, these results provide evidence for an IN/Pol mediated uptake of LEDGF/p75 in viral particles and a specific cleavage by HIV protease. Understanding of the possible role of LEDGF/p75 or its cleavage fragments in the viral particle awaits further experimentation.
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    ABSTRACT: Retroviral replication proceeds through an obligate integrated DNA provirus, making retroviral vectors attractive vehicles for human gene-therapy. Though most of the host cell genome is available for integration, the process of integration site selection is not random. Retroviruses differ in their choice of chromatin-associated features and also prefer particular nucleotide sequences at the point of insertion. Lentiviruses including HIV-1 preferentially integrate within the bodies of active genes, whereas the prototypical gammaretrovirus Moloney murine leukemia virus (MoMLV) favors strong enhancers and active gene promoter regions. Integration is catalyzed by the viral integrase protein, and recent research has demonstrated that HIV-1 and MoMLV targeting preferences are in large part guided by integrase-interacting host factors (LEDGF/p75 for HIV-1 and BET proteins for MoMLV) that tether viral intasomes to chromatin. In each case, the selectivity of epigenetic marks on histones recognized by the protein tether helps to determine the integration distribution. In contrast, nucleotide preferences at integration sites seem to be governed by the ability for the integrase protein to locally bend the DNA duplex for pairwise insertion of the viral DNA ends. We discuss approaches to alter integration site selection that could potentially improve the safety of retroviral vectors in the clinic.
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