Lentiviral latency in peripheral CD4+ T cells isolated from feline immunodeficiency virus-infected cats during the asymptomatic phase is not associated with hypermethylation of the proviral promoter

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Lentiviral latency remains a principal obstacle to curative AIDS therapy. Transcriptional repression and latency permits lentiviruses to evade host immune responses and antiretroviral drugs. We have established a model of peripheral CD4+ T cell lentiviral latency in cats experimentally infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Multiple mechanisms of lentiviral transcriptional repression have been proposed including epigenetic mechanisms resulting in promoter hypermethylation and/or chromatin condensation. Methylation of promoter-associated cytosines in the cytosine-guanine dinucleotide (CpG) has been associated with transcriptional repression in both eukaryotic promoters and integrated retroviral genomes. Using methylcytosine mapping, we examined the CpG methylation patterns in both the 5' and 3' long terminal repeats (LTR) of the FIV provirus in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, monocytes and CD4+ T cells isolated during the acute and asymptomatic phases of infection. Here we report no evidence that proviral promoter hypermethylation is associated with lentiviral latency in peripheral CD4+ T cells and monocytes obtained from experimentally FIV-infected cats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalVirus Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2012



  • FIV lentivirus
  • Latency
  • Methylation
  • Promoter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research

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