Integrated proviral genomes are repressed by a series of mechanisms which are reversible. Actually, HIV latency is an active procces.
First, the provirus can be subjected to repression via neighboring cis-acting sequences. Second, the transcriptional status of HIV is tightly coupled to the activation status of the host cell. Lastly, latency can be stregthened by post-transcriptional mechanisms.
Major advances have been made over the last few years to decipher the mechanisms of HIV latency.
In particular, the role of the chromatin environement, of histone deacethylases and histone methyltransferases, have been extensively studied.
It is also known that latency is favored by the lack of key transcriptional factors, like P-TEFb which are less produced, or trapped by inhibitors.
However, these mechanisms of HIV latency werer established in T cell lines and do not preclude to what happens in other type of cells (microglia, stem cells...).
Key words: Hiv, aids, cure, eradication, latency, persistence, reservoir, reservoirs, sanctuary