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Current HIV Research


ISSN (Print): 1570-162X
ISSN (Online): 1873-4251

Reviving an Old HIV-1 Gene: The HIV-1 Antisense Protein

Author(s): Cynthia Torresilla, Jean-Michel Mesnard and Benoit Barbeau

Volume 13, Issue 2, 2015

Page: [117 - 124] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/1570162X12666141202125943

Price: $65


The existence of an HIV-1 protein translated from an antisense transcript was suggested over 25 years ago. However, this Antisense Protein (ASP) gene has still not been completely accepted by the HIV-1 research community. The aim of this review is to discuss recent findings, which suggest that ASP needs to be considered as a viral gene, playing an important role in HIV-1 replication and persistence. In past years, several studies have highlighted the existence of HIV-1 antisense transcripts. More recently, we and others have convincingly demonstrated that this transcript produces a protein with a unique distribution and a rapid turnover, when expressed in mammalian cells. Furthermore, a role in autophagy and HIV-1 replication has been associated with this protein. In light of these recent reports, we believe that ASP needs to be added to the schematic representation of the HIV-1 proviral DNA and requires further investigation, as it could represent a new potential target for anti-retroviral therapies and vaccine strategies.

Keywords: Antisense Protein, Antisense transcription, Autophagy, HIV-1.

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