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J Virol. 1991 Apr;65(4):1952-9.

Equine infectious anemia virus and human immunodeficiency virus DNA synthesis in vitro: characterization of the endogenous reverse transcriptase reaction.

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  • 1Division of Virology, Wellcome Research Laboratories, Burroughs Wellcome Co., Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709.


The endogenous reverse transcriptase reaction of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) has been studied, and conditions allowing synthesis of full-length minus-strand DNA have been determined. In contrast to results reported for other retroviruses, synthesis of EIAV full-length minus-strand DNA was not impaired by high concentrations of Nonidet P-40, a nonionic detergent used to make the virion envelope permeable. All components of the reaction were titrated for maximum synthesis of complete minus strands, and a time course under the standardized conditions was determined. Minor subgenomic bands were observed in some cases, and both the size and proportion varied with reaction conditions. Conditions established for full-length EIAV DNA synthesis also allowed full-genome-length human immunodeficiency virus type 1 DNA synthesis. The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 DNA product contained a greater proportion of reverse transcripts that were shorter than the complete virus genome. Also in contrast to EIAV, the endogenous synthesis of high-molecular-weight human immunodeficiency virus type 1 DNA was drastically reduced at Nonidet P-40 concentrations above 0.02%. These results indicated that a detergent-stable core is not a property shared by all lentiviruses. The EIAV virion synthetic machinery is unusually stable and provides a convenient system for further in vitro study of reverse transcription.

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