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J Virol. 1989 Sep;63(9):3708-13.

Temporal aspects of DNA and RNA synthesis during human immunodeficiency virus infection: evidence for differential gene expression.

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Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Nine Cambridge Center, Massachusetts 02142.


The kinetics of retroviral DNA and RNA synthesis are parameters vital to understanding viral growth, especially for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which encodes several of its own regulatory genes. We have established a single-cycle growth condition for HIV in H9 cells, a human CD4+ lymphocyte line. The full-length viral linear DNA is first detectable by 4 h postinfection. During a one-step growth of HIV, amounts of viral DNA gradually increase until 8 to 12 h postinfection and then decrease. The copy number of unintegrated viral DNA is not extraordinarily high even at its peak. Most strikingly, there is a temporal program of RNA accumulation: the earliest RNA is greatly enriched in the 2-kilobase subgenomic mRNA species, while the level of 9.2-kilobase RNA which is both genomic RNA and mRNA remains low until after 24 h of infection. Virus production begins at about 24 h postinfection. Thus, viral DNA synthesis is as rapid as for other retroviruses, but viral RNA synthesis involves temporal alteration in the species that accumulate, presumably as a consequence of viral regulatory genes.

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