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J Virol. 2000 Jun;74(12):5441-51.

The double-stranded RNA-binding protein Staufen is incorporated in human immunodeficiency virus type 1: evidence for a role in genomic RNA encapsidation.

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  • 1Departments of Microbiology & Immunology, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7, Canada.


Human Staufen (hStau), a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-binding protein that is involved in mRNA transport, is incorporated in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and in other retroviruses, including HIV-2 and Moloney murine leukemia virus. Sucrose and Optiprep gradient analyses reveal cosedimentation of hStau with purified HIV-1, while subtilisin assays demonstrate that it is internalized. hStau incorporation in HIV-1 is selective, is dependent on an intact functional dsRNA-binding domain, and quantitatively correlates with levels of encapsidated HIV-1 genomic RNA. By coimmunoprecipitation and reverse transcription-PCR analyses, we demonstrate that hStau is associated with HIV-1 genomic RNA in HIV-1-expressing cells and purified virus. Overexpression of hStau enhances virion incorporation levels, and a corresponding, threefold increase in HIV-1 genomic RNA encapsidation levels. This coordinated increase in hStau and genomic RNA packaging had a significant negative effect on viral infectivity. This study is the first to describe hStau within HIV-1 particles and provides evidence that hStau binds HIV-1 genomic RNA, indicating that it may be implicated in retroviral genome selection and packaging into assembling virions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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