Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 24932481
PLoS ONE 2014;9(6):e99535
Primary monocytes are refractory to HIV-1 infection and become permissive upon differentiation into monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDCs) or macrophages. Multiple mechanisms have been proposed to interpret HIV-1 restriction in monocytes. Human cellular miRNAs can modulate HIV-1 infection by targeting either conserved regions of the HIV-1 genome or host gene transcripts. We have recently reported that the translation of host protein pur-alpha is repressed by abundant cellular miRNAs to inhibit HIV-1 infection in monocytes. Here, we report that the transcript of another cellular factor, VprBP [Vpr (HIV-1)-binding protein], was repressed by cellular miRNA-1236, which contributes to HIV-1 restriction in monocytes. Transfection of miR-1236 inhibitors enhanced translation of VprBP in monocytes and significantly promoted viral infection; exogenous input of synthesized miR-1236 mimics into MDDCs suppressed translation of VprBP, and, accordingly, significantly impaired viral infection. Our data emphasize the role of miRNA in modulating differentiation-dependent susceptibility of the host cell to HIV-1 infection. Understanding the modulation of HIV-1 infection by cellular miRNAs may provide key small RNAs or the identification of new important protein targets regulated by miRNAs for the development of antiviral strategies.