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Dual role of TRBP in HIV replication and RNA interference: viral diversion of a cellular pathway or evasion from antiviral immunity?

Authors
Journal
Retrovirology
1742-4690
Publisher
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Volume
2
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/1742-4690-2-65
Keywords
  • Commentary
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

Increasing evidence indicates that RNA interference (RNAi) may be used to provide antiviral immunity in mammalian cells. Human micro (mi)RNAs can inhibit the replication of a primate virus, whereas a virally-encoded miRNA from HIV inhibits its own replication. Indirect proof comes from RNAi suppressors encoded by mammalian viruses. Influenza NS1 and Vaccinia E3L proteins can inhibit RNAi in plants, insects and worms. HIV-1 Tat protein and Adenovirus VA RNAs act as RNAi suppressors in mammalian cells. Surprisingly, many RNAi suppressors are also inhibitors of the interferon (IFN)-induced protein kinase R (PKR) but the potential overlap between the RNAi and the IFN pathways remains to be determined. The link between RNAi as an immune response and the IFN pathway may be formed by a cellular protein, TRBP, which has a dual role in HIV replication and RNAi. TRBP has been isolated as an HIV-1 TAR RNA binding protein that increases HIV expression and replication by inhibiting PKR and by increasing translation of structured RNAs. A recent report published in the Journal of Virology shows that the poor replication of HIV in astrocytes is mainly due to a heightened PKR response that can be overcome by supplying TRBP exogenously. In two recent papers published in Nature and EMBO Reports, TRBP is now shown to interact with Dicer and to be required for RNAi mediated by small interfering (si) and micro (mi)RNAs. The apparent discrepancy between TRBP requirement in RNAi and in HIV replication opens the hypotheses that RNAi may be beneficial for HIV-1 replication or that HIV-1 may evade the RNAi restriction by diverting TRBP from Dicer and use it for its own benefit.

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