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Genes Dev. 1998 Oct 1;12(19):2992-6.

The HIV-1 Tat cellular coactivator Tat-SF1 is a general transcription elongation factor.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, Massachusetts 01605, USA.


The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Tat protein strongly and specifically stimulates transcription elongation from the HIV-1 LTR and provides an important in vitro model system to study this process. Here we use protein-affinity chromatography to identify cellular factors involved in transcription elongation. A Tat-affinity column bound one transcription factor, Tat-SF1, efficiently and selectively. Tat-SF1 was identified originally as a Tat-specific coactivator, but we show it is a general transcription elongation factor. Our results also reveal the existence of an ATP-inactivatable general elongation factor (AIEF) required for Tat-SF1 activity and for which Tat can substitute functionally.

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