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J Virol. 1990 Jun;64(6):2743-50.

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Pr55gag and Pr160gag-pol expressed from a simian virus 40 late replacement vector are efficiently processed and assembled into viruslike particles.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, State University of New York, Buffalo 14214.


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gag and pol genes were expressed by using fragments of the BH10 clone of HIV inserted into a simian virus 40 late replacement vector. An initial construct containing the entire coding regions of gag, pol, and vif produced only minute amounts of the gag precursor, Pr55gag. However, high-level expression was obtained when an additional sequence from the env gene (the rev-responsive element) was inserted 3' of vif in the correct orientation, and rev was provided in trans from a second vector. Western immunoblot analysis of transfected cells showed the presence of large amounts of both Pr55gag and Pr160gag-pol as well as all of the expected cleavage products. Electron microscopy of thin sections of transfected cells showed a multitude of viruslike particles. Both immature particles in the process of budding and particles containing the condensed core characteristic of HIV were observed. Analysis of the released viruslike particles showed the presence of active reverse transcriptase. Sucrose gradient analysis of particles produced from [3H]uridine-labeled cells indicated a peak of radioactivity which cosedimented with a peak of p24, suggesting that the particles contained RNA.

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