Gammaretroviral integration into nucleosomal target DNA in vivo.
Roth SL, Malani N, Bushman FD, J Virol. 2011 May 11:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology, 3610 Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6076.
Some of the earliest studies of retroviral integration targeting reported that sites of gammaretroviral DNA integration were positively correlated with DNase I hypersensitive sites in chromatin. This led to the suggestion that open chromatin was favorable for integration. More recent deep sequencing experiments confirmed that gammaretroviral integration sites and DNase I cleavage sites are associated in genome-wide surveys. Paradoxically, in vitro studies of integration show that nucleosomal DNA is actually favored over naked DNA, raising the question of whether integration target DNA in chromosomes is wrapped in nucleosomes or nucleosome free. In this study we examined gammaretroviral integration by infecting primary human CD4(+) T lymphocytes with an MLV-based retroviral vector or xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV), and isolated 32,585 unique integration sites using ligation-mediated PCR and 454 pyrosequencing. CD4+ T lymphocytes were chosen for study because of the particularly dense genome-wide mapping of chromatin features available for comparison. Analysis relative to predicted nucleosome positions showed that gammaretroviruses direct integration into outward-facing major grooves on nucleosome-wrapped DNA, similar to the integration pattern of HIV. Also, a suite of histone modifications correlated with gene activity are positively associated with integration by both MLV and XMRV. Thus we conclude that favored integration near DNase I hypersensitive sites does not imply that integration takes place exclusively in nucleosome free regions.