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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Apr 2;93(7):2936-40.

Amphibian transcription factor IIIA proteins contain a sequence element functionally equivalent to the nuclear export signal of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Rev.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Rev protein is required for nuclear export of late HIV-1 mRNAs. This function is dependent on the mutationally defined Rev activation domain, which also forms a potent nuclear export signal. Transcription factor IIIA (TFIIIA) binds to 5S rRNA transcripts and this interaction has been proposed to play a role in the efficient nuclear export of 5S rRNA in amphibian oocytes. Here it is reported that amphibian TFIIIA proteins contain a sequence element with homology to the Rev activation domain that effectively substitutes for this domain in inducing the nuclear export of late HIV-1 mRNAs. It is further demonstrated that this TFIIIA sequence element functions as a protein nuclear export signal in both human cells and frog oocytes. Thus, this shared protein motif may play an analogous role in mediating the nuclear export of both late HIV-1 RNAs and 5S rRNA transcripts.

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