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Cell. 1990 Feb 23;60(4):675-83.

HIV-1 structural gene expression requires binding of the Rev trans-activator to its RNA target sequence.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710.


Expression of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 structural proteins requires both the viral Rev trans-activator and its cis-acting RNA target sequence, the Rev response element (RRE). The RRE has been mapped to a conserved region of the HIV-1 env gene and is predicted to form a complex, highly stable RNA stem-loop structure. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to define a small subdomain of the RRE, termed stem-loop II, that is essential for biological activity. Gel retardation assays demonstrated that the Rev trans-activator is a sequence-specific RNA binding protein. The RRE stem-loop II subdomain was found to be both necessary and sufficient for the binding of Rev by the RRE. We propose that the HIV-1 Rev trans-activator belongs to a new class of sequence-specific RNA binding proteins characterized by the presence of an arginine-rich binding motif.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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