Mutational definition of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Rev activation domain.
Replication of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 requires the functional expression of the virally encoded Rev protein. The binding of this nuclear trans activator to its viral target sequence, the Rev-response element, induces the cytoplasmic expression of unspliced viral mRNAs. Mutation of the activation domain of Rev generates inactive proteins with normal RNA binding capabilities that inhibit wild-type Rev function in a trans-dominant manner. Here, we report that the activation domain comprises a minimum of nine amino acids, four of which are critically spaced leucines. The preservation of this essential sequence in other primate and nonprimate lentivirus Rev proteins indicates that this leucine-rich motif has been highly conserved during evolution. This conclusion, taken together with the observed permissiveness of a variety of eukaryotic cell types for Rev function, suggests that the target for the activation domain of Rev is likely to be a highly conserved cellular protein(s) intrinsic to nuclear mRNA transport or splicing.
Malim, MH; McCarn, DF; Tiley, LS; Cullen, BR
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