Identification of cis-acting repressor activity within human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease sequences.
Human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) Rev overcomes negative elements within viral RNAs to allow expression of gag, pol, and env. The effect of Rev on protein and RNA expression of HIV-1 protease (PR)-containing constructs was investigated utilizing transient transfection of COS cells. Rev, through the Rev response element (RRE), resulted in a large increase in proteolytic activity and cytoplasmic RNA accumulation. Furthermore, Rev increased the level of total RNA produced by a PR-containing construct. The increase in cytoplasmic RNA accumulation in the presence of Rev indicated the presence of cis-acting repressor sequences (CRS) within the RNA produced by this construct. Therefore, components of the construct were analyzed for CRS activity. PR sequences in both sense and antisense orientations exhibited CRS activity. RRE sequences alone conferred a small CRS effect. Additional CRS activity was present within an unspliced RNA containing only nef and LTR sequences. These results indicate a novel form of cis-acting repressor activity within HIV-1 PR; this activity is exerted regardless of the orientation of PR and appears to function at the level of cytoplasmic or nuclear RNA stability.
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