The HIV-1 Vpr protein is a virion-associated protein which has been shown to facilitate infection of nondividing macrophages and additionally to alter cell cycle and proliferation status of the infected host cell. HIV-1 Vpr also was recently shown to associate with the DNA repair enzyme uracil DNA glycosylase (UDG). This association with a DNA repair enzyme is intriguing given that nonprimate lentiviruses encode a dUTPase, which, like UDG, minimizes the misincorporation of uracil into DNA and is important for virus replication in primary nondividing macrophages but not in dividing cells. This raises the possibility that the dependence upon Vpr for infection of nondividing macrophages may relate to its ability to interact with UDG. Members of the HIV-2/SIV(SM) group encode, in addition to Vpr, a related protein called Vpx. We previously demonstrated (Fletcher et al., 1996) that Vpx of HIV-2/SIV(SM) is necessary and sufficient for infection of primary macaque macrophages, while Vpr is not required for macrophage infection but governs cell cycle arrest. Here, we extend on these observations by demonstrating that Vpr, but not Vpx of HIV-2/SIV(SM), associates with UDG, which suggests that Vpx facilitates infection of macrophages by a UDG- independent mechanism.
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