Correlation Engine 2.0
Clear Search sequence regions

Sizes of these terms reflect their relevance to your search.

The reverse transcription of the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) initiates upon annealing of the 3'-18-nt of tRNALys3 onto the primer binding site (PBS) in viral RNA (vRNA). Additional intermolecular interactions between tRNALys3 and vRNA have been reported, but their functions remain unclear. Here, we show that abolishing one potential interaction, the A-rich loop: tRNALys3 anticodon interaction in the HIV-1 MAL strain, led to a decrease in viral infectivity and reduced the synthesis of reverse transcription products in newly infected cells. In vitro biophysical and functional experiments revealed that disruption of the extended interaction resulted in an increased affinity for reverse transcriptase (RT) and enhanced primer extension efficiency. In the absence of deoxyribose nucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs), vRNA was degraded by the RNaseH activity of RT, and the degradation rate was slower in the complex with the extended interaction. Consistently, the loss of vRNA integrity was detected in virions containing A-rich loop mutations. Similar results were observed in the HIV-1 NL4.3 strain, and we show that the nucleocapsid (NC) protein is necessary to promote the extended vRNA: tRNALys3 interactions in vitro. In summary, our data revealed that the additional intermolecular interaction between tRNALys3 and vRNA is likely a conserved mechanism among various HIV-1 strains and protects the vRNA from RNaseH degradation in mature virions.


Thomas Gremminger, Zhenwei Song, Juan Ji, Avery Foster, Kexin Weng, Xiao Heng. Extended Interactions between HIV-1 Viral RNA and tRNALys3 Are Important to Maintain Viral RNA Integrity. International journal of molecular sciences. 2020 Dec 23;22(1)

Expand section icon Mesh Tags

Expand section icon Substances

PMID: 33374603

View Full Text