PloS one 2017 08 0212(8) e0182298 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0182298
The host immunophilin cyclophilin A (CypA) binds to the capsid protein (CA) of HIV-1 and regulates its infectivity. Depending on the target cell type, CypA can either promote or inhibit HIV-1 infection. The ability of CypA to promote HIV-1 infection has been extensively studied and linked to several steps in early replication including uncoating, reverse transcription and nuclear import. By contrast, the mechanism by which CypA inhibits infection is less well understood. We investigated the mechanism by which CypA potentiates restriction of HIV-1 by the tripartite motif-containing protein 5 (TRIM5α). Depletion of TRIM5α in the African green monkey cell line Vero, resulted in a loss of inhibition of infection by CypA, demonstrating that inhibition by CypA is mediated by TRIM5α. Complementary genetic and biochemical assays failed to demonstrate an ability of CypA to promote binding of TRIM5α to the viral capsid. TRIM5α inhibits HIV-1 reverse transcription in a proteasome-dependent manner; however, we observed that inhibition of proteasome activity did not reduce the ability of CypA to inhibit infection, suggesting that CypA acts at a step after reverse transcription. Accordingly, we observed a CypA-dependent reduction in the accumulation of nuclear HIV-1 DNA, indicating that CypA specifically promotes TRIM5α inhibition of HIV-1 nuclear import. We also observed that the ability of CypA to inhibit HIV-1 infection is abolished by amino acid substitutions within the conserved CPSF6-binding surface in CA. Our results indicate that CypA inhibits HIV-1 infection in Vero cells not by promoting TRIM5α binding to the capsid but by blocking nuclear import of the HIV-1 preintegration complex.