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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Aug 15;88(16):7366-70.

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 regulator of virion expression, rev, forms nucleoprotein filaments after binding to a purine-rich "bubble" located within the rev-responsive region of viral mRNAs.

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  • 1Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 rev protein binds with high affinity (Kd less than 1-3 nM) to a purine-rich "bubble" containing bulged GG and GUA residues on either side of a double-helical RNA stem-loop located toward the 5' end of rev-response element RNA. High-affinity rev binding is maintained when the bubble is placed in heterologous stem-loop structures, but rev binding is reduced when either the bulged residues or flanking base pairs in the stem are altered. Rev binding to the purine-rich bubble nucleates assembly of long filamentous ribonucleoprotein structures containing polymers of rev bound to flanking RNA sequences. It is proposed that rev regulates human immunodeficiency virus RNA expression by selectively packaging viral transcripts carrying the rev-response element sequence into rod-like nucleoprotein complexes that block splicing of the packaged mRNAs.

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