Keeping Things Quiet

Science's STKE  20 Mar 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 378, pp. tw96
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3782007tw96

Among its many functions, RNA silencing provides broad cellular defense against viruses in many plant and animal species. To perform defense functions, microRNAs (miRNAs) arm an RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), which either degrades messenger RNA or inhibits its translation. Triboulet et al. show that proteins responsible for generating miRNA potently inhibit human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV-1) in naturally infected cells and that HIV-1 counters this by down-modulating the expression of selected cellular miRNAs to favor replication. Targeting the miRNA processing pathway may offer a strategy for activating latent viral reservoirs, which remain barriers to eliminating chronic HIV-1 infection.

R. Triboulet, B. Mari, Y.-L. Lin, C. Chable-Bessia, Y. Bennasser, K. Lebrigand, B. Cardinaud, T. Maurin, P. Barbry, V. Baillat, J. Reynes, P. Corbeau, K.-T. Jeang, M. Benkirane, Suppression of microRNA-silencing pathway by HIV-1 during virus replication. Science 315, 1579-1582 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]