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J Virol. 1998 Jul;72(7):6146-50.

Novel Gag-Pol frameshift site in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 variants resistant to protease inhibitors.

Author information

1
Bio-Méga Research Division, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., Laval, Quebec, Canada H7S 2G5.

Abstract

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) variants resistant to protease inhibitors have been shown to contain a mutation in the p1/p6 Gag precursor cleavage site. At the messenger RNA level, this mutation generates a U UUU UUU sequence that is reminiscent of the U UUU UUA sequence required for ribosomal frameshifting and Gag-Pol synthesis. To test whether the p1/p6 cleavage site mutation was generating a novel frameshift site, HIV sequences were inserted in translation vectors containing a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene requiring -1 frameshifting for expression. All sequences containing the original HIV frameshift site supported the synthesis of CAT but expression was increased 3- to 11-fold in the presence of the mutant p1/p6 sequence. When the original frameshift site was abolished by mutation, expression remained unchanged when using constructs containing the mutant p1/p6 sequence, whereas it was decreased 2- to 4.5-fold when using wild-type p1/p6 constructs. Similarly, when introduced into HIV molecular clones, the p1/p6 mutant sequence supported Gag-Pol synthesis and protease activity in the absence of the original frameshift site, indicating that this sequence could also promote ribosomal frameshifting in virus-expressing cells.

PMID:
9621079
PMCID:
PMC110421
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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