Apr 2016 cover image

An impressive imagining of how HIV-1 infection triggers N6-methyladenosine modification in the viral and human RNAs affecting nuclear export. Artwork by Evelyn Pence.

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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.

Refers to Dynamics of the human and viral m6A RNA methylomes during HIV-1 infection of T cells

Gianluigi Lichinchi, Shang Gao, Yogesh Saletore, Gwendolyn Michelle Gonzalez, Vikas Bansal, Yinsheng Wang, Christopher E. Mason & Tariq M. Rana

Nature Microbiology 1, 16011 (2016)

Andrew Jermy

Consultant, Germinate

Andrew gained his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Manchester, UK, studying fungal protein trafficking and secretion. He was subsequently a microbiology editor at Nature for more than a decade, joining Nature Reviews Microbiology in 2008 as an Associate Editor after a brief stint as locum editor on Nature Cell Biology. Over the following 4.5 years Andrew developed a passion for the field, commissioning Reviews and writing on all aspects of microbiology. He also took a keen interest in developing new approaches to communicate with the microbiology community. In January 2013 Andrew joined the Nature team as Senior Editor, handling primary manuscripts from across the field and championing microbiology in Nature’s pages and beyond. Andrew left Nature in April 2015 to become the Chief Editor for the launch of Nature Microbiology. Having helped to establish Nature Microbiology as one of the premier journals in the microbiology publishing landscape, and in search of a better work-life balance, in January 2019 he left Nature to become Chief Publishing Officer (and tea boy) for the family GCSE and A-Level educational resources business established by his wife over the preceding three years.