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Virology. 1994 Jan;198(1):336-40.

A short sequence upstream of the 5' major splice site is important for encapsidation of HIV-1 genomic RNA.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway 08854.


A series of linker scanning and deletion mutations has been constructed in the 5' leader sequence of HIV-1. One virus with a 13-base-linker substitution upstream of the 5' major splice site was as impaired in its ability to replicate as a virus with a large deletion, which included these 13 bases, and was less efficient in packaging its genomic RNA than viruses carrying mutations between the 5' major splice site and the gag translation initiation site. These observations have led to the identification of a conserved pattern of repeated sequence elements associated with sequences experimentally defined as necessary for encapsidation of Moloney murine leukemia virus, spleen necrosis virus, avian leukosis-sarcoma viruses, and human immunodeficiency virus type 1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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