New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

Viral Complementation Allows HIV-1 Replication Without Integration, NYU Dental College Research Shows

July 10, 2008
N-504, 2007-08

Vital “cooperation” is shown to be a mode of retroviral replication, which allows the survival of viruses that would otherwise be “lost” because of a failure to integrate with a host’s DNA.

Weak HIV viruses piggyback onto stronger ones, raising the possibility that the human body may harbor many more HIV viruses capable of replicating and contributing to the development of AIDS than previously thought, a New York University College of Dentistry AIDS research team has found.

It’s widely known that only about one in every 100 HIV viruses can successfully complete the process of integrating its DNA with the DNA of the human cell — a step that every virus must successfully complete before it can reproduce. But a new study led by Dr. David N. Levy, an Assistant Professor of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology at the NYU College of Dentistry, has revealed a mechanism that enables some of the other 99 percent of HIV viruses also to replicate and play a potential role in the development of AIDS.

“We’ve observed a new mode of HIV replication that involves cooperative interaction between viruses,” said Dr. Levy, who published his findings today in BioMed Central’s open access journal Retrovirology.

According to Dr. Levy, HIV functions as a community, with those viruses that successfully integrate with the DNA in human cells rescuing the viruses that fail to integrate by providing them with the proteins they need to reproduce. In fact, the viruses that were once thought to be lost because they don’t integrate may have an advantage over the others because they can skip several steps in their replication cycle and reproduce faster.

“Cooperation between different viruses is yet another one of the many tricks that HIV uses to survive, and raises the possibility that there are more active viruses in the body than was previously thought. Understanding how viruses interact with each other is a key to understanding how HIV evolves and survives the body’s immune responses, which we hope could ultimately lead to the development of new ways to treat HIV infection.”

Below are the citation details and links to the manuscripts: MS: 4424850782000098 Viral complementation allows HIV-1 replication without integration Huub C Gelderblom, Dimitrios N Vatakis, Sean A Burke, Steven D Lawrie, Gregory C Bristol and David N Levy Retrovirology http://www.retrovirology.com/imedia/4424850782000098_article.pdf?random=290539


About New York University College of Dentistry Founded in 1865, New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD) is the third oldest and the largest dental school in the US, educating more than 8 percent of all dentists. NYUCD has a significant global reach and provides a level of national and international diversity among its students that is unmatched by any other dental school.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Research, College of Dentistry

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: Christopher James | (212) 998-6876


Search News



NYU In the News

Entrepreneurship Lab Opens at NYU

Crain’s New York Business covered the opening of the Mark and Debra Leslie Entrepreneurial eLab, which will be the headquarters for NYU’s Entrepreneurial Institute and all of the University’s programs aimed at promoting innovation and startups.

A Globalizer for N.Y.U. in Abu Dhabi

The New York Times profiled Bill Bragin who will become the first executive artistic director of NYU Abu Dhabi’s new performing arts center.

Think Tank to Ponder a Future for Ballet

The New York Times profiled Jennifer Homans, the director of NYU’s new Center for Ballet and the Arts.

The Brilliant Ten: Jonathan Viventi Builds Devices That Decode Thoughts

Popular Science named Assistant Bioengineering Professor Jonathan Viventi as one of its “brilliant ten” for his research into brain implants that could one day halt epileptic episodes:

Living and Leaving the Dream: Adrian Cardenas’ Journey from the Major Leagues to College

The New York Times ran a feature on Adrian Cardenas, a former major league baseball player who is now studying philosophy and creating writing at NYU.

NYU Footer