HIV-1 Infection Is Blocked at an Early Stage in Cells Devoid of Mitochondrial DNA

Gaofei Lu, Suzanne E. Matsuura, Antoni Barrientos, Walter A. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1) exploits various host cellular pathways for efficient infection. Here we report that the absence of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in ρ0 cells markedly attenuates HIV-1 infection. Importantly, reduced infection efficiency in ρ0 cells is not simply the result of impaired oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) because pharmacological OXPHOS inhibition did not inhibit HIV-1 infection. Analysis of the early steps of virus infection by real-time PCR quantification of stage-specific HIV-1 DNA products in the infected ρ0 and parental cell line have allowed us to conclude that HIV-1 infection in ρ0 cells is blocked at the steps that occur after reverse transcription and prior to nuclear import. Additionally, confocal fluorescence microscope analysis showed that the majority of viral complexes containing HIV-1 p24 co-localize with mitochondria in target cells, suggesting an interaction between the two. Collectively, our data strongly indicate that mitochondria play an important role during early stages of HIV-1 infection, probably through direct association with HIV-1 intracellular complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere78035
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 21 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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