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Underestimated effect of intragenic HIV-1 DNA methylation on viral transcription in infected individuals.

Clinical epigenetics (2020-03-01)
Sam Kint, Wim Trypsteen, Ward De Spiegelaere, Eva Malatinkova, Sabine Kinloch-de Loes, Tim De Meyer, Wim Van Criekinge, Linos Vandekerckhove
ABSTRACT

The HIV-1 proviral genome harbors multiple CpG islands (CpGIs), both in the promoter and intragenic regions. DNA methylation in the promoter region has been shown to be heavily involved in HIV-1 latency regulation in cultured cells. However, its exact role in proviral transcriptional regulation in infected individuals is poorly understood or characterized. Moreover, methylation at intragenic CpGIs has never been studied in depth. A large, well-characterized HIV-1 patient cohort (n = 72), consisting of 17 long-term non-progressors and 8 recent seroconverters (SRCV) without combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), 15 early cART-treated, and 32 late cART-treated patients, was analyzed using a next-generation bisulfite sequencing DNA methylation method. In general, we observed low level of promoter methylation and higher levels of intragenic methylation. Additionally, SRCV showed increased promoter methylation and decreased intragenic methylation compared with the other patient groups. This data indicates that increased intragenic methylation could be involved in proviral transcriptional regulation. Contrasting in vitro studies, our results indicate that intragenic hypermethylation of HIV-1 proviral DNA is an underestimated factor in viral control in HIV-1-infected individuals, showing the importance of analyzing the complete proviral genome in future DNA methylation studies.

MATERIALS
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Product Description

Roche
FastStart Taq DNA Polymerase, 5 U/μl, dNTPs included: no, hotstart, suitable for PCR