Molecular Virology










This unit investigates the role played by epigenetic modifications (histone acetylation, histone methylation and DNA methylation) in the control of transcriptional latency and the reactivation of three retroviruses: HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), HTLV-1 (human T cell leukemia virus) and BLV (bovine leukemia virus).
Infection with these viruses is characterized by viral latency in the majority of infected cells and lack of viremia (in the case of HTLV-1 and BLV). These features are due to the transcriptional repression of viral expression in vivo, but the mechanisms involved in this repression are not yet fully elucidated. Epigenetic changes may be one of the pathways for infected cells to escape the immune response mediated by the infected host and most likely to promote tumor development in the case of BLV and HTLV-1.

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Recent publications

HIV Latency: Should We Shock or Lock?

Trends Immunol. 2017

Repression of Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 Long Terminal Repeat sense transcription by Sp1 recruitment to novel Sp1 binding sites.

Sci Rep. 2017

Reactivation capacity by latency-reversing agents ex vivo correlates with the size of the HIV-1 reservoir.

AIDS. 2017

Sequential treatment with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and deacetylase inhibitors reactivates HIV-1.

EMBO Mol Med. 2016

Tuning of AKT-pathway by Nef and its blockade by protease inhibitors results in limited recovery in latently HIV infected T-cell line.

Sci Rep. 2016

Characterization of new RNA polymerase III and RNA polymerase II transcriptional promoters in the Bovine Leukemia Virus genome.

Sci Rep. 2016



“Reactivation of HIV-1 gene expression to treat persistent HIV infection”: WO2013050422 

Bouchat, S ; Gatot, J-S  ; Rohr, O; Van Lint, C, Published in 2013-04-11


Book chapters

Bouchat,  S., Van Driessche,  B., & Van Lint,  C. (2014). Transcription (initiation, regulation, elongation). In  Encyclopedia of AIDS. Springer: Hope, T. Richman, D. Stevenson, M.

Colin,  L., Verdin,  E., & Van Lint,  C. (2014). HIV-1 chromatin, transcription, and the regulatory protein Tat. In  E. Vicenzi &  G. Poli (Eds.), Methods in molecular biology, Vol. 1087. Human Retroviruses (pp. 85-101).  Humana press.(Methods and Protocols).