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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in PLoS One.

Volume 8, Issue 5, May 2013, e65040.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065040. Copyright © PLoS One.


HIV-1 Rev plays an important role in the late phase of HIV-1 replication, which facilitates export of unspliced viral mRNAs from the nucleus to cytoplasm in infected cells. Recent studies have shown that DDX1 and DDX3 are co-factors of Rev for the export of HIV-1 transcripts. In this report, we have demonstrated that DDX5 (p68), which is a multifunctional DEAD-box RNA helicase, functions as a new cellular co-factor of HIV-1 Rev. We found that DDX5 affects Rev function through the Rev-RRE axis and subsequently enhances HIV-1 replication. Confocal microscopy and co-immunoprecipitation analysis indicated that DDX5 binds to Rev and this interaction is largely dependent on RNA. If the DEAD-box motif of DDX5 is mutated, DDX5 loses almost all of its ability to bind to Rev, indicating that the DEAD-box motif of DDX5 is required for the interaction between DDX5 and Rev. Our data indicate that interference of DDX5-Rev interaction could reduce HIV-1 replication and potentially provide a new molecular target for anti-HIV-1 therapeutics.

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