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Human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) causes major health burdens worldwide and still lacks curative therapies and vaccines. Circadian rhythms are endogenous daily oscillations that coordinate an organism's response to its environment and invading pathogens. Peripheral viral loads of HIV-1 infected patients show diurnal variation; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we demonstrate a role for the cell-intrinsic clock to regulate rhythmic HIV-1 replication in circadian-synchronized systems. Silencing the circadian activator Bmal1 abolishes this phenotype, and we observe BMAL1 binding to the HIV-1 promoter. Importantly, we show differential binding of the nuclear receptors REV-ERB and ROR to the HIV-long terminal repeat at different circadian times, demonstrating a dynamic interplay in time-of-day regulation of HIV-1 transcription. Bioinformatic analysis shows circadian regulation of host factors that control HIV-1 replication, providing an additional mechanism for rhythmic viral replication. This study increases our understanding of the circadian regulation of HIV-1, which can ultimately inform new therapies.

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Bioinformatics, Biological sciences, Molecular biology, Virology