Kinetics of HIV-1 long terminal repeat trans-activation. Use of intragenic ribozyme to assess rate-limiting steps

K. T. Jeang, B. Berkhout

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We have examined, using self-cleaving ribozymes, the intracellular trans-activation kinetics of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) long terminal repeat (LTR) by viral protein Tat. Experiments were designed to effect a competition (during RNA chain elongation) between cleavage of a nascent RNA containing the Tat-responsive target sequence (TAR) and Tat interaction with the same TAR in the process of LTR-trans-activation. We found that fast self-cleavage of nascent TAR-containing RNA abolished Tat trans-activation. Slowing the cleavage reaction kinetically rescued trans-activation. Based on our results, we conclude that the rate-limiting step in HIV-1 LTR trans-activation is the initial contact made between Tat/TAR/LTR rather than the promoter proximal pausing of RNA polymerases that are tethered to functional TAR
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17891-17899
JournalJournal of biological chemistry
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 1992

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