Aug 21, 2013

Annealing to sequences within the primer binding site loop promotes an HIV-1 RNA conformation favoring RNA dimerization and packaging

Elias SeifLawrence Kleiman


The 5' untranslated region (5' UTR) of HIV-1 genomic RNA (gRNA) includes structural elements that regulate reverse transcription, transcription, translation, tRNA(Lys3) annealing to the gRNA, and gRNA dimerization and packaging into viruses. It has been reported that gRNA dimerization and packaging are regulated by changes in the conformation of the 5'-UTR RNA. In this study, we show that annealing of tRNA(Lys3) or a DNA oligomer complementary to sequences within the primer binding site (PBS) loop of the 5' UTR enhances its dimerization in vitro. Structural analysis of the 5'-UTR RNA using selective 2'-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension (SHAPE) shows that the annealing promotes a conformational change of the 5' UTR that has been previously reported to favor gRNA dimerization and packaging into virus. The model predicted by SHAPE analysis is supported by antisense experiments designed to test which annealed sequences will promote or inhibit gRNA dimerization. Based on reports showing that the gRNA dimerization favors its incorporation into viruses, we tested the ability of a mutant gRNA unable to anneal to tRNA(Lys3) to be incorporated into virions. We found a ∼60% decrease in mutant gRNA packaging compared with wil...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

RNA Conformation
Primer Extension
MT-TA gene
Triplet Codon-amino Acid Adaptor Activity
Macromolecular Alteration
5' Untranslated Regions
Packaging, Virus
Transfer RNA

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