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J Virol. 1997 Mar; 71(3): 2495–2499.
PMCID: PMC191362

Molecular determinants for cellular uptake of Tat protein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 in brain cells.


We measured the cellular uptake of 125I-labeled full-length Tat (amino acids 1 to 86) (125I-Tat(1-86)) and 125I-Tat(1-72) (first exon) in human fetal astrocytes, neuroblastoma cells, and human fetal neurons and demonstrated that the uptake of 125I-Tat(1-72) without the second exon was much lower than that of 125I-Tat(1-86) (P < 0.01). This suggests an important role for the C-terminal region of Tat for its cellular uptake. 125I-Tat uptake could be inhibited by dextran sulfate and competitively inhibited by unlabeled Tat but not by overlapping 15-mer peptides, suggesting that Tat internalization is charge and conformationally dependent. Interestingly, one of 15-mer peptides, Tat(28-42), greatly enhanced 125I-Tat uptake. These findings are important for understanding the neuropathogenesis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection and in the potential application of Tat for drug delivery to cells.

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Selected References

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