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

A novel gene of HIV-1, vpu, and its 16-kilodalton product.

A 16-kilodalton protein expressed in cells producing the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) was identified as the gene product of the vpu open reading frame. When expressed in vitro, the 81-amino acid vpu protein reacted with about one-third of the serum samples from AIDS patients that were tested, indicating that the vpu open reading frame is expressed in vivo as well. Introduction of a frame-shift mutation into the vpu open reading frame did not significantly interfere with expression of the major viral proteins in a transient expression system. However, a five- to tenfold reduction in progeny virions was observed after the infection of T lymphocytes with the mutant virus. These data suggest that the vpu gene product is required for efficient virus replication and may have a role in assembly or maturation of progeny virions.[1]


  1. A novel gene of HIV-1, vpu, and its 16-kilodalton product. Strebel, K., Klimkait, T., Martin, M.A. Science (1988) [Pubmed]
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