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

AIDS virus reverse transcriptase defined by high level expression in Escherichia coli.

The causative agent of AIDS the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) encodes as part of its pol gene a reverse transcriptase ( RT) which has a key role in the replication of the virus and thus constitutes an ideal target for antiviral chemotherapy. The purified HIV RT from virus particles consists of two related polypeptides of 66 and 51 kd mol. wt and similar polypeptides are found on expression of the complete HIV pol gene using prokaryotic systems. Here we describe the expression of the 66-kd protein in Escherichia coli and demonstrate that this polypeptide alone has authentic RT activity. Thus, a central HIV pol gene segment encodes and is sufficient for high levels of RT activity. The RT has been purified from E. coli extracts using a purification procedure involving two chromotography steps resulting in an enzyme preparation near homogeneity. Deletion of the C-terminal region of the RT thought to encode the RNase H domain resulted in loss of polymerase activity.[1]


  1. AIDS virus reverse transcriptase defined by high level expression in Escherichia coli. Larder, B., Purifoy, D., Powell, K., Darby, G. EMBO J. (1987) [Pubmed]
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