A new mechanism involving RNA modification to control HIV-1 replication and its interaction with the host immune system has been identified. HIV-1 infection in T cells triggers N6-methyladenosine modification in the viral and human RNAs. As shown in the illustration, methylation of two conserved adenosines in the stem loop region of a regulatory RNA structure in HIV-1 called Rev Response Element (RRE) enhanced binding of viral Rev protein to the RRE in vivo and influenced nuclear export of RNA. Viral and human RNAs are shown in red and deep blue colors, respectively.
Nature Microbiology 1, 16011 (2016)