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

Functional analysis of reverse transcription by a frameshift pol mutant of murine leukemia virus.

Endogenous reverse transcription by wild-type murine leukemia virus (MuLV) was compared to that catalyzed by clone 23, a pol mutant containing a reverse transcriptase protein which lacks the carboxyl-terminal third of the molecule (J. G. Levin, S. C. Hu, A. Rein, L. I. Messer, and B. I. Gerwin (1984), J. Virol. 51, 470-478). Competition immunoassays revealed that mutant virions contain normal amounts of polymerase protein, indicating that the lack of carboxyl-terminal sequences does not alter normal processing of enzyme precursors. Although the mutant enzyme was previously shown to have the ability to copy and degrade RNA:DNA hybrids, the present study demonstrates that it is defective in functions required to generate full-length copies of viral DNA. Analysis of products of endogenous reverse transcription showed that minus-strand strong-stop DNA is formed and that mutant virions synthesize a series of minus-strand DNA intermediates up to 2.2 kb in length. Comparison of mutant and wild-type MuLV reaction products indicated that the 2.2-kb termination site of the mutant corresponds to a normal pausing region for the wild-type enzyme. Computer analysis of sequences and structure within pausing regions suggested the involvement of C-rich consensus sequences plus multibranch loop structures in the general phenomenon of enzyme-pausing during reverse transcription.[1]


  1. Functional analysis of reverse transcription by a frameshift pol mutant of murine leukemia virus. Messer, L.I., Currey, K.M., O'Neill, B.J., Maizel, J.V., Levin, J.G., Gerwin, B.I. Virology (1985) [Pubmed]
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