HIV-1 is capable of integrating its genome into that of its host cell. We examined the influence of the activation state of CD4+ T cells, the effect of antiretroviral therapy (ART), and the clinical stage of HIV-1 infection on HIV-1 integration site features and selection. HIV-1 integration sites were sequenced from longitudinally sampled resting and activated CD4+ T cells from 12 HIV-1–infected individuals. In total, 589 unique HIV-1 integration sites were analyzed: 147, 391, and 51 during primary, chronic, and late presentation of HIV-1 infection, respectively. As early as during primary HIV-1 infection and independent of the activation state of CD4+ T cells collected on and off ART, HIV-1 integration sites were preferentially detected in recurrent integration genes, genes associated with clonal expansion of latently HIV-1–infected CD4+ T cells, cancer-related genes, and highly expressed genes. The preference for cancer-related genes was more pronounced at late stages of HIV-1 infection. Host genomic features of HIV-1 integration site selection remained stable during HIV-1 infection in both resting and activated CD4+ T cells. In summary, characteristic HIV-1 integration site features are preestablished as early as during primary HIV-1 infection and are found in both resting and activated CD4+ T cells.
Yik Lim Kok, Valentina Vongrad, Sandra E. Chaudron, Mohaned Shilaih, Christine Leemann, Kathrin Neumann, Katharina Kusejko, Francesca Di Giallonardo, Herbert Kuster, Dominique L. Braun, Roger D. Kouyos, Huldrych F. Günthard, Karin J. Metzner