The RNA genome of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is enclosed by a capsid shell that dissociates within the cell in a multistep process known as uncoating, which influences completion of reverse transcription of the viral genome. Double-stranded viral DNA is imported into the nucleus for integration into the host genome, a hallmark of retroviral infection. Reverse transcription, nuclear entry, and integration are coordinated by a capsid uncoating process that is regulated by cellular proteins. Although uncoating is not well understood, recent studies have revealed insights into the process, particularly with respect to nuclear import pathways and protection of the viral genome from DNA sensors. Understanding uncoating will be valuable toward developing novel antiretroviral therapies for HIV-infected individuals.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.