Identification of a novel human zinc finger protein that specifically interacts with the activation domain of lentiviral Tat proteins.
Transcriptional activation of HIV-1 gene expression by the viral Tat protein requires the interaction of a cellular cofactor with the Tat activation domain. This domain has been shown to consist of the cysteine-rich and core motifs of HIV-1 Tat and is functionally conserved in the distantly related Tat proteins of HIV-2 and EIAV. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, we have identified a novel human gene product, termed HT2A, that specifically and precisely binds to the activation domain of HIV-1 Tat and that can also interact with the HIV-2 and EIAV Tat proteins in vivo. We present data further demonstrating that the interaction between the activation domain of HIV-1 Tat and the HT2A protein can be readily detected in the mammalian cell nucleus. Sequence analysis demonstrates that HT2A is a novel member of the C3HC4 or ring finger family of zinc finger proteins that includes several known oncogenes and transcription factors. Overall, these data suggest that HT2A may play a significant role in mediating the biological activity of the HIV-1 Tat protein in vivo.
Fridell, RA; Harding, LS; Bogerd, HP; Cullen, BR
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