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J Mol Biol. 1997 Sep 19;272(2):167-77.

Sequence elements downstream of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 long terminal repeat are required for efficient viral gene transcription.

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McGill University Aids Centre, Jewish General Hospital, 3755 Cote Ste-Catherine Road, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


We investigated the role of a 54-nucleotide region (+200 to +253) located downstream of the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) on virus gene expression and found, using RT-PCR and p24 CA analysis, that deletion of this region inhibited synthesis of both viral RNA and protein. CAT assays showed that these results were attributable to decreased transcription efficiency of the HIV-1 LTR and not to the stability of the RNA transcripts produced. Further deletional analysis and transfection studies showed that the most important sequences with regard to proviral DNA expression were located between nucleotide positions +218 and +237. Furthermore, substitutional mutational analysis showed that a CTCTCTC sequence at positions +227 to +233, homologous to the pyrimidine-rich initiator (Inr) region found in several promoters, was required for efficient production of both viral RNA and protein. Deletion of the sequence +200 to +217, homologous to the interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE), resulted in impaired LTR promoter activity and decreased synthesis of viral RNA and protein. However, when the latter region was replaced by homologous ISRE sequences from an interferon-stimulated gene (ISG-54), an even more severe effect on HIV gene expression and replication was observed, suggesting that ISRE-like sequences in HIV act differently from homologous sequences in interferon-responsive cellular genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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