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Adv Virol. 2012;2012:123605. doi: 10.1155/2012/123605. Epub 2012 Jul 30.

Impact of Tat Genetic Variation on HIV-1 Disease.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Drexel University College of Medicine, 245 N. 15th Street, MS no. 1013A, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA.

Abstract

The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) promoter or long-terminal repeat (LTR) regulates viral gene expression by interacting with multiple viral and host factors. The viral transactivator protein Tat plays an important role in transcriptional activation of HIV-1 gene expression. Functional domains of Tat and its interaction with transactivation response element RNA and cellular transcription factors have been examined. Genetic variation within tat of different HIV-1 subtypes has been shown to affect the interaction of the viral transactivator with cellular and/or viral proteins, influencing the overall level of transcriptional activation as well as its action as a neurotoxic protein. Consequently, the genetic variability within tat may impact the molecular architecture of functional domains of the Tat protein that may impact HIV pathogenesis and disease. Tat as a therapeutic target for anti-HIV drugs has also been discussed.

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