Table of Contents
Molecular Biology International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 614120, 11 pages
Review Article

Mechanisms of HIV Transcriptional Regulation and Their Contribution to Latency

Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA

Received 15 February 2012; Accepted 9 April 2012

Academic Editor: Suryaram Gummuluru

Copyright © 2012 Gillian M. Schiralli Lester and Andrew J. Henderson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Long-lived latent HIV-infected cells lead to the rebound of virus replication following antiretroviral treatment interruption and present a major barrier to eliminating HIV infection. These latent reservoirs, which include quiescent memory T cells and tissue-resident macrophages, represent a subset of cells with decreased or inactive proviral transcription. HIV proviral transcription is regulated at multiple levels including transcription initiation, polymerase recruitment, transcription elongation, and chromatin organization. How these biochemical processes are coordinated and their potential role in repressing HIV transcription along with establishing and maintaining latency are reviewed.