Effect of induced dNTP pool imbalance on HIV-1 reverse transcription in macrophages

Caitlin Shepard, Joella Xu, Jessica Holler, Dong Hyun Kim, Louis M. Mansky, Raymond F. Schinazi, Baek Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Terminally differentiated/nondividing macrophages, a key target cell type of HIV-1, harbor extremely low dNTP concentrations established by a host dNTP triphosphohydrolase, SAM domain and HD domain containing protein 1 (SAMHD1). We tested whether the induction of dNTP pool imbalance can affect HIV-1 replication in macrophages. For this test, we induced a large dNTP pool imbalance by treating human primary monocyte derived macrophages with either one or three of the four deoxynucleosides (dNs), which are phosphorylated to dNTPs in cells, to establish two different dNTP imbalance conditions in macrophages. Results: The transduction efficiency and 2-LTR circle copy number of HIV-1 GFP vector were greatly diminished in human primary macrophages treated with the biased dN treatments, compared to the untreated macrophages. We also observed the induced dNTP bias blocked the production of infectious dual tropic HIV-1 89.6 in macrophages. Moreover, biochemical DNA synthesis by HIV-1 reverse transcriptase was significantly inhibited by the induced dNTP pool imbalance. Third, the induced dNTP bias increased the viral mutant rate by approximately 20-30% per a single cycle infection. Finally, unlike HIV-1, the single dN treatment did not significantly affect the transduction of SIVmac239-based GFP vector encoding Vpx in macrophages. This is likely due to Vpx, which can elevate all four dNTP levels even with the single dN treatment. Conclusion: Collectively, these data suggest that the elevated dNTP pool imbalance can induce kinetic block and mutation synthesis of HIV-1 in macrophages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number29
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 26 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s).


  • HIV-1
  • Macrophages
  • Mutagenesis
  • Reverse transcription
  • SAMHD1
  • dNTP pool imbalance


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