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Virology. 1994 Oct;204(1):123-31.

HIV-1 Rev is capable of shuttling between the nucleus and cytoplasm.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


The mechanism by which Rev facilitates the export, and consequently, the translation of the structural protein mRNAs of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 remains undefined. Previous immunolocalization has determined that Rev is predominantly in the nucleus with significant accumulation in the nucleolus, a localization consistent with the assumed site of Rev action. To determine whether the subcellular distribution is more dynamic than what was indicated by the original studies, the capacity of Rev to shuttle between the nucleus and cytoplasm was examined. It was observed that treatment of cells with DRB or actinomycin D resulted in a dramatic alteration in Rev distribution, the majority of the protein being found in the cytoplasm. Removal of the drug resulted in a rapid accumulation of Rev in the nucleus indicating that the block to nuclear import was reversible. Subsequent studies indicated that the movement of Rev into the cytoplasm was a passive process while its accumulation in the nucleus was an active one, given that only the latter displayed sensitivity to temperature. Finally, it was demonstrated that, while extensive redistribution of Rev could be attained by inhibition of RNA polymerase I alone, Rev was still capable of inducing expression of HIV structural gene expression under these conditions. Consequently, Rev activity does not appear to be dependent on either an intact nucleolus or the accumulation of the protein in the nucleus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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