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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Feb 15;88(4):1148-52.

Reconstitution in vitro of RNase H activity by using purified N-terminal and C-terminal domains of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase.

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  • 1Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., La Jolla, CA 92037.


Two constituent protein domains of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) reverse transcriptase were expressed separately and purified to homogeneity. The N-terminal domain (p51) behaves as a monomeric protein exhibiting salt-sensitive DNA polymerase activity. The C-terminal domain (p15) on its own has no detectable RNase H activity. However, the combination of both isolated p51 and p15 in vitro leads to reconstitution of RNase H activity on a defined substrate. These results demonstrate that domains of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase are functionally interdependent to a much higher degree than in the case of reverse transcriptase from Moloney murine leukemia virus.

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