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Kulkosky J , Skalka AM
Molecular Mechanism of Retroviral DNA Integration
Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 1994 ;61(1-2) :185-203
PMID: ISI:A1994NR04400005   
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The integration of retroviral DNA appears to be obligatory for the efficient replication of retroviruses in their respective host cells. During a natural infection, integration takes place in a process that includes biochemically and temporally discrete steps. These are: (1) the removal of two nucleotides from the 3' ends of newly synthesized linear viral DNA in the host cell cytoplasm; (2) transport of the trimmed viral DNA to the nucleus within a viral protein/DNA complex; and (3) insertion of the viral DNA into host cell DNA via a concerted cleavage and ligation reaction. The cleavage of viral DNA and its subsequent joining to host DNA are catalyzed by the retroviral enzyme, integrase (IN). Elucidation of the mechanistic details of these catalytic activities of IN has relied heavily upon the use of relatively simple in vitro assays which recapitulate the in vivo reactions. These assays and the information derived from them should also facilitate the search for potential inhibitors of IN with the ultimate goal of providing a means to halt retroviral infections, such as that which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), effectively.
English Review NR044 PHARMACOL THER