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Program in Molecular Medicine

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Immunology and Infectious Disease | Virology | Virus Diseases


BACKGROUND: HIV-1 capsid influences viral uncoating and nuclear import. Some capsid is detected in the nucleus but it is unclear if it has any function. We reported that the antibiotic Coumermycin-A1 (C-A1) inhibits HIV-1 integration and that a capsid mutation confers resistance to C-A1, suggesting that capsid might affect post-nuclear entry steps.

RESULTS: Here we report that C-A1 inhibits HIV-1 integration in a capsid-dependent way. Using molecular docking, we identify an extended binding pocket delimited by two adjacent capsid monomers where C-A1 is predicted to bind. Isothermal titration calorimetry confirmed that C-A1 binds to hexameric capsid. Cyclosporine washout assays in Jurkat CD4+ T cells expressing engineered human TRIMCyp showed that C-A1 causes faster and greater escape from TRIMCyp restriction. Sub-cellular fractionation showed that small amounts of capsid accumulated in the nuclei of infected cells and C-A1 reduced the nuclear capsid. A105S and N74D capsid mutant viruses did not accumulate capsid in the nucleus, irrespective of C-A1 treatment. Depletion of Nup153, a nucleoporin located at the nuclear side of the nuclear pore that binds to HIV-1 capsid, made the virus less susceptible to TRIMCyp restriction, suggesting that Nup153 may help maintain some integrity of the viral core in the nucleus. Furthermore C-A1 increased binding of CPSF6, a nuclear protein, to capsid.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that capsid is involved in post-nuclear entry steps preceding integration.


Capsid, Coumermycin-A1, HIV-1, Integration, Nucleoporins, Nucleus, Nup153, Uncoating

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Copyright Chen et al. 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Retrovirology. 2016 Apr 23;13:28. doi: 10.1186/s12977-016-0262-0. Link to article on publisher's site

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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