Inhibition of HIV-1 transcription and replication by a newly identified cyclin T1 splice variant

Guozhen Gao, Xiaoyun Wu, Jieqiong Zhou, Mingfeng He, Johnny J. He, Deyin Guo

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8 Scopus citations


A variety of cellular factors participates in the HIV-1 life cycle. Among them is the well characterized cyclin T1 (CYCT1). CycT1 binds to cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) and forms the positive transcription elongation factor-b (P-TEFb). P-TEFb is then recruited by HIV-1 TAT to the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter and subsequently leads to phosphorylation of the C-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II (pol II), enhanced processivity of pol II, and transcription of a full-length HIV-1 RNA. In this study, we report the identification of a new CYCT1 splice variant, designated as CYCT1b, and accordingly we renamed CYCT1 as CYCT1a. CYCT1b was detected in several cell lines, including primary human CD4 T cells, and its expression was subject to cell cycle regulation. Similar to CYCT1a, CYCT1b was primarily localized in the nucleus. CYCT1b expression was found to be inversely correlated with HIV-1 gene expression and replication. This inverse correlation appeared to involve TAT transactivation, CDK9 binding, and subsequent recruitment of P-TEFb to the HIV-1 LTR promoter and pol II C-terminal domain phosphorylation. In agreement with these findings, CYCT1b expression led to direct inhibition of TAT-transactivated transcription of the HIV-1 LTR promoter. Taken together, these results show that the newly identified CYCT1b splice variant inhibits HIV-1 transcription and may provide new clues for the development of anti-HIV strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14297-14309
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - 17 May 2013


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