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Virology. 1995 Jun 1;209(2):327-36.

Isolation of high-affinity RNA ligands to HIV-1 integrase from a random pool.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder 80309-0347, USA.


We were able to isolate high-affinity RNAs from a random pool that binds to integrase protein from the human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 using the procedure now known as SELEX. Generally, the RNAs fell into three different classes in binding buffer containing 250 mM NaCl: group I class of molecules binds integrase with a dissociation constant (Kd) on the order of 10 nM, group II molecules had a Kd of about 80 nM, and group III about 800 nM. The RNA with the highest affinity from the group I class of molecules, designated P5, was characterized using computer modeling, chemical and enzymatic probing, and deletion analysis. Our secondary structure model for this RNA suggests interactions between looped-out fixed nucleotides and nucleotides from the randomized region; a GNRA tetraloop is also in the structure. We showed that our integrase was able to process a U5 mimic in vitro. P5 competes effectively for binding with the double-stranded DNA mimic of U5 at 180 mM NaCl concentration.

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