Allosteric HIV-1 integrase inhibitors lead to premature degradation of the viral RNA genome and integrase in target cells

Michaela K. Madison, Dana Q. Lawson, Jennifer Elliott, Ayşe Naz Ozantürk, Pratibha C. Koneru, Dana Townsend, Manel Errando, Mamuka Kvaratskhelia, Sebla B. Kutluay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Recent evidence indicates that inhibition of HIV-1 integrase (IN) binding to the viral RNA genome by allosteric integrase inhibitors (ALLINIs) or through mutations within IN yields aberrant particles in which the viral ribonucleoprotein complexes (vRNPs) are eccentrically localized outside the capsid lattice. These particles are noninfectious and are blocked at an early reverse transcription stage in target cells. However, the basis of this reverse transcription defect is unknown. Here, we show that the viral RNA genome and IN from ALLINI-treated virions are prematurely degraded in target cells, whereas reverse transcriptase remains active and stably associated with the capsid lattice. The aberrantly shaped cores in ALLINI-treated particles can efficiently saturate and be degraded by a restricting TRIM5 protein, indicating that they are still composed of capsid proteins arranged in a hexagonal lattice. Notably, the fates of viral core components follow a similar pattern in cells infected with eccentric particles generated by mutations within IN that inhibit its binding to the viral RNA genome. We propose that IN-RNA interactions allow packaging of both the viral RNA genome and IN within the protective capsid lattice to ensure subsequent reverse transcription and productive infection in target cells. Conversely, disruption of these interactions by ALLINIs or mutations in IN leads to premature degradation of both the viral RNA genome and IN, as well as the spatial separation of reverse transcriptase from the viral genome during early steps of infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00821-17
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Capsid
  • HIV-1
  • Integrase
  • Maturation
  • Protein-RNA interaction
  • RNA packaging
  • Reverse transcriptase
  • TRIM5


Dive into the research topics of 'Allosteric HIV-1 integrase inhibitors lead to premature degradation of the viral RNA genome and integrase in target cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this