Barrier-to-autointegration factor (BAF or BANF1) is a highly conserved 10-KDa protein in multicellular eukaryotes. It was identified as a factor that blocks integration of Moloney murine leukemia virus DNA into itself (autointegration) in vitro. BAF binds DNA nonspecifically and, because it is a dimer, bridges together DNA molecules. BAF also binds the LEM domain, a domain that is shared among lamina-associated polypeptide 2, emerin, and MAN1. BAF is an essential cellular protein, and knockdown or knockout results in a defect in chromosome segregation during mitosis.
A role for barrier-to-autointegration factor (BAF or BANF1) in retroviral DNA integration was first inferred from in vitro experiments with Moloney murine leukemia virus. After entry of a virion into the cytoplasm of a newly infected cell, reverse transcriptionoccurs within the reverse transcription complex, a nucleoprotein complex derived from the core of the infecting virion. The resulting...