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Exp Cell Res. 1995 Mar;217(1):31-41.

Nucleocytoplasmic transport of the Rev protein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 is dependent on the activation domain of the protein.

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Sandoz Research Institute, Vienna, Austria.


The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) regulatory protein Rev, which is required for the cytoplasmic expression of unspliced and incompletely spliced viral mRNAs, is located predominantly in the nucleolus. In this study, we show that Rev translocates from the nucleolus to the cytoplasm in HeLa and COS cells transfected with Rev under conditions where rRNA synthesis is inhibited (e.g., with actinomycin D). Dominant-negative mutants with mutations in the activation domain of Rev, which are known to inhibit wild-type Rev function in trans, are unable to leave the nucleus upon actinomycin D treatment. More importantly, when present in excess, these mutants inhibit the translocation of wild-type Rev. This correlation of inhibitory activities suggests that Rev function depends on its transport to and presence (at least transient) in the cytoplasm. In this context, we discuss the possibility that Rev is actively involved in the transport of HIV-1-specific mRNAs containing the Rev response element (a highly structured RNA sequence, which is specifically recognized by the Rev trans-activator). We also discuss the potential of nucleocytoplasmic export of Rev as a target for anti-HIV chemotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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