Human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) Vpx is required for nuclear translocation of the viral preintegration complex (PIC) in quiescent cells. In order to decipher the mechanism of action of Vpx, a cDNA library was screened with the yeast two-hybrid assay, resulting in the identification of heat shock protein 40, Hsp40/DnaJB6, as a Vpx-interactive protein. Interaction with Vpx was confirmed by glutathione S-transferase (GST) pull-down and coimmunoprecipitation assays. Overexpression of Hsp40/DnaJB6 enhanced Vpx nuclear import, whereas overexpression of a nuclear localization mutant of Hsp40/DnaJB6 (H31Q) or down-regulation of Hsp40/DnaJB6 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) reduced the nuclear import of Vpx. Hsp40/DnaJB6 competed with the Pr55 Gag precursor protein for the binding of Vpx and incorporation into virus-like particles. Overexpression of Hsp40/DnaJB6 promoted viral PIC nuclear import, whereas siRNA down-regulation of Hsp40/DnaJB6 inhibited PIC nuclear import. These results demonstrate a role for Hsp40/DnaJB6 in the regulation of HIV-2 PIC nuclear transport.
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