Elite controllers comprise a minute fraction of individuals infected with HIV-1 who are able to maintain control of the HIV-1 infection in the absence of antiretroviral treatment. Xu Yu and colleagues report that the HIV provirus integrates into the chromosomes of host cells at distinct sites in elite controllers compared with individuals who are treated with long-term antiretroviral therapy. They show that, in elite controllers, the virus frequently integrates within centromeric satellite DNA or in KRAB-ZNF genes on chromosome 19, and that the proviral integration sites in elite controllers have an increased distance to host transcriptional start sites and are enriched in repressive chromatin marks. The findings suggest that the location of virus integration into the host chromosome may contribute to natural viral control.
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