Nat Cell Biol. 2006 Feb;8(2):170-9. Epub 2006 Jan 22. The HIV-1 Vpr and glucocorticoid receptor complex is a gain-of-function interaction that prevents the nuclear localization of PARP-1. Muthumani K1, Choo AY, Zong WX, Madesh M, Hwang DS, Premkumar A, Thieu KP, Emmanuel J, Kumar S, Thompson CB, Weiner DB. Author information Erratum in Nat Cell Biol. 2006 Mar;8(3):299. Abstract The Vpr protein of HIV-1 functions as a vital accessory gene by regulating various cellular functions, including cell differentiation, apoptosis, nuclear factor of kappaB (NF-kappaB) suppression and cell-cycle arrest of the host cell. Several reports have indicated that Vpr complexes with the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), but it remains unclear whether the GR pathway is required for Vpr to function. Here, we report that Vpr uses the GR pathway as a recruitment vehicle for the NF-kappaB co-activating protein, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1). The GR interaction with Vpr is both necessary and sufficient to facilitate this interaction by potentiating the formation of a Vpr-GR-PARP-1 complex. The recruitment of PARP-1 by the Vpr-GR complex prevents its nuclear localization, which is necessary for Vpr to suppress NF-kappaB. The association of GR with PARP-1 is not observed with steroid (glucocorticoid) treatment, indicating that the GR association with PARP-1 is a gain of function that is solely attributed to HIV-1 Vpr. These data provide important insights into Vpr biology and its role in HIV pathogenesis.