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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcription is stimulated by tat from other lentiviruses.

The tat gene is required by HIV-1 for efficient reverse transcription and this function of Tat can be distinguished from its role in transcription by RNA polymerase II using tat point mutations that abrogate each function independently. The mechanism of Tat's role in reverse transcription, however, is not known, nor is it known whether this role is conserved among trans-activating factors in other retroviruses. Here we examine the abilities of heterologous viral trans-activating proteins from jembrana disease virus (jTat), HIV-2 (Tat2), and equine infectious anemia virus (eTat) to substitute for HIV-1 Tat (Tat1) and restore reverse transcription in HIV-1 carrying an inactivated tat gene. Natural endogenous reverse transcription assays showed that trans-activators from some retroviruses (Tat2 and jTat, but not eTat) could substitute for Tat1 in complementation of HIV-1 reverse transcription. Finally, we show that Y47 is critical for Tat1 to function in reverse transcription, but not HIV-1 gene expression. We mutated the homologous position in jTat to H62Y and found it did not improve its ability to stimulate reverse transcription, but an H62A mutation did inhibit jTat complementation. These data highlight the finding that the role of Tat in reverse transcription is not related to trans-activation and demonstrate that other tat genes conserve this function.[1]


  1. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcription is stimulated by tat from other lentiviruses. Hooker, C.W., Scott, J., Apolloni, A., Parry, E., Harrich, D. Virology (2002) [Pubmed]
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