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J Virol. 1994 Feb;68(2):1229-33.

Adeno-associated virus type 2 rep gene-mediated inhibition of basal gene expression of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 involves its negative regulatory functions.

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Forschungsschwerpunkt Angewandte Tumorvirologie, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Heidelberg, Germany.


Adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV-2), a human parvovirus which is apathogenic in adults, inhibits replication and gene expression of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in human cells. The rep gene of AAV-2, which was shown earlier to be sufficient for this negative interference, also down-regulated the expression of heterologous sequences driven by the long terminal repeat (LTR) of HIV-1. This effect was observed in the absence of the HIV-1 transactivator Tat, i.e., at basal levels of LTR-driven transcription. In this work, we studied the involvement of functional subsequences of the HIV-1 LTR in rep-mediated inhibition in the absence of Tat. Mutated LTRs driving an indicator gene (cat) were cointroduced into human SW480 cells together with rep alone or with double-stranded DNA fragments or RNA containing sequences of the HIV-1 LTR. The results indicate that rep strongly enhances the function of negative regulatory elements of the LTR. In addition, the experiments revealed a transcribed sequence element located within the TAR-coding sequence termed AHHH (AAV-HIV homology element derived from HIV-1) which is involved in rep-mediated inhibition. The AHHH element is also involved in down-regulation of basal expression levels in the absence of rep, suggesting that AHHH also contributes to negative regulatory functions of the LTR of HIV-1. In contrast, positive regulatory elements of the HIV-1 LTR such as the NF kappa B and SP1 binding sites have no significant influence on the rep-mediated inhibition.

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