Expression levels of the human DNA repair protein metnase influence lentiviral genomic integration

Elizabeth A. Williamson, Jacqueline Farrington, Leah Martinez, Scott Ness, John O'Rourke, Suk Hee Lee, Jac Nickoloff, Robert Hromas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We recently identified a Transposase domain protein called Metnase, which assists in repairing DNA double-strand breaks (DSB) via non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ), and is important for foreign DNA integration into a host cell genome. Since integration is essential for productive lentiviral infection we examined whether Metnase expression levels could have an influence on lentiviral genomic integration. Using cells stably transduced to either over- or under-express Metnase we determined that the expression level of Metnase did indeed correlate with live lentiviral integration. Changes in Metnase levels were accompanied by changes in the number of copies of integrated lentiviral cDNA. While Metnase levels affected lentiviral integration, it had no effect on the amount of either total cellular viral RNA, cDNA or 2-LTR circles. Therefore, Metnase enhances the integration of lentivirus DNA into the host cell genome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1422-1426
Number of pages5
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA repair
  • Genomic integration
  • Histone methylation
  • Lentivirus
  • Transposase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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