We have investigated regulatory sequences in noncoding human DNA that are associated with repression of an integrated human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) promoter. HIV-1 integration results in the formation of precise and homogeneous junctions between viral and host DNA, but integration takes place at many locations. Thus, the variation in HIV-1 gene expression at different integration sites reports the activity of regulatory sequences at nearby chromosomal positions. Negative regulation of HIV transcription is of particular interest because of its association with maintaining HIV in a latent state in cells from infected patients. To identify chromosomal regulators of HIV transcription, we infected Jurkat T cells with an HIV-based vector transducing green fluorescent protein (GFP) and separated cells into populations containing well-expressed (GFP-positive) or poorly expressed (GFP-negative) proviruses. We then determined the chromosomal locations of the two classes by sequencing 971 junctions between viral and cellular DNA. Possible effects of endogenous cellular transcription were characterized by transcriptional profiling. Low-level GFP expression correlated with integration in (i) gene deserts, (ii) centromeric heterochromatin, and (iii) very highly expressed cellular genes. These data provide a genome-wide picture of chromosomal features that repress transcription and suggest models for transcriptional latency in cells from HIV-infected patients.
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