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Nucleic Acids Res. 2007;35(8):2695-704. Epub 2007 Apr 10.

HIV controls the selective packaging of genomic, spliced viral and cellular RNAs into virions through different mechanisms.

Author information

1
CPBS, UMI, CNRS, 4 bd Henri IV, CS 69033, 34965 Montpellier, France.

Abstract

In addition to genomic RNA, HIV-1 particles package cellular and spliced viral RNAs. In order to determine the encapsidation mechanisms of these RNAs, we determined the packaging efficiencies and specificities of genomic RNA, singly and fully spliced HIV mRNAs and different host RNAs species: 7SL RNA, U6 snRNA and GAPDH mRNA using RT-QPCR. Except GAPDH mRNA, all RNAs are selectively encapsidated. Singly spliced RNAs, harboring the Rev-responsible element, and fully spliced viral RNAs, which do not contain this motif, are enriched in virions to similar levels, even though they are exported from the nucleus by different routes. Deletions of key motifs (SL1 and/or SL3) of the packaging signal of genomic RNA indicate that HIV and host RNAs are encapsidated through independent mechanisms, while genomic and spliced viral RNA compete for the same trans-acting factor due to the presence of the 5' common exon containing the TAR, poly(A) and U5-PBS hairpins. Surprisingly, the RNA dimerization initiation site (DIS/SL1) appears to be the main packaging determinant of genomic RNA, but is not involved in packaging of spliced viral RNAs, suggesting a functional interaction with intronic sequences. Active and selective packaging of host and spliced viral RNAs provide new potential functions to these RNAs in the early stages of the virus life cycle.

PMID:
17426127
PMCID:
PMC1885669
DOI:
10.1093/nar/gkm153
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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