Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF) fusion proteins can direct HIV-1 DNA integration to novel sites in the host genome. The C terminus of LEDGF contains an integrase binding domain (IBD), and the N terminus binds chromatin. LEDGF normally directs integrations to the bodies of expressed genes. Replacing the N terminus of LEDGF with chromatin binding domains (CBDs) from other proteins changes the specificity of HIV-1 DNA integration. We chose two well-characterized CBDs: the plant homeodomain (PHD) finger from ING2 and the chromodomain from heterochromatin binding protein 1alpha (HP1alpha). The ING2 PHD finger binds H3K4me3, a histone mark that is associated with the transcriptional start sites of expressed genes. The HP1alpha chromodomain binds H3K9me2,3, histone marks that are widely distributed throughout the genome. A fusion protein in which the ING2 PHD finger was linked to the LEDGF IBD directed integrations near the start sites of expressed genes. A similar fusion protein in which the HP1alpha chromodomain was linked to the LEDGF IBD directed integrations to sites that differed from both the PHD finger fusion-directed and LEDGF-directed integration sites. The ability to redirect HIV-1 DNA integration may help solve the problems associated with the activation of oncogenes when retroviruses are used in gene therapy.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





3135 - 3140


Animals, Binding Sites, Cell Line, Chromatin, Computational Biology, DNA, Viral, Flow Cytometry, Gene Expression Profiling, Genetic Therapy, HIV Integrase, HIV-1, Homeodomain Proteins, Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Mice, Mice, Knockout, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Tumor Suppressor Proteins, Virus Integration