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J Virol. 1991 Aug;65(8):4490-3.

Construction of a replication-competent murine retrovirus vector expressing the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 tat transactivator protein.

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Department of Molecular Oncology and Virology, Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, Roche Research Center, Nutley, New Jersey 07110-1199.


A replication-competent Akv murine leukemia virus-based vector encoding the human immunodeficiency virus tat cDNA under control of the simian virus 40 early promoter sequences was constructed. The simian virus 40 tat sequences were placed within the U3 region of the 3' long terminal repeat. The resulting virus, derived by transfection, replicated efficiently in mouse NIH 3T3 cells and maintained the tat cDNA insert. It has been suggested that Tat function requires the presence of a human-specific cofactor, which is absent in murine cells. However, infection of murine cells with the Akv virus encoding tat resulted in significant transactivation of a human immunodeficiency virus long terminal repeat-driven reporter gene, indicating that human cofactors are not always required for Tat function. The vector system described may be useful for introduction of foreign genes in vivo and in whole animals when virus spread is required for efficient infection and levels of gene expression.

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