Author(s): Derse D, Carvalho M, Carroll R, Peterlin BM, Derse D, Carvalho M, Carroll R, Peterlin BM
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Abstract Transcriptional regulatory mechanisms found in lentiviruses employ RNA enhancer elements called trans-activation responsive (TAR) elements. These nascent RNA stem-loops are cis-acting targets of virally encoded Tat effectors. Interactions between Tat and TAR increase the processivity of transcription complexes and lead to efficient copying of viral genomes. To study essential elements of this trans activation, peptide motifs from Tats of two distantly related lentiviruses, equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), were fused to the coat protein of bacteriophage R17 and tested on the long terminal repeat of EIAV, where TAR was replaced by the R17 operator, the target of the coat protein. This independent RNA-tethering mechanism mapped activation domains of Tats from HIV-1 and EIAV to 47 and 15 amino acids and RNA-binding domains to 10 and 26 amino acids, respectively. Thus, a minimal lentivirus Tat consists of 25 amino acids, of which 15 modify viral transcription and 10 bind to the target RNA stem-loop.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in HIV: Current Research