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

Presence of exon splicing silencers within human immunodeficiency virus type 1 tat exon 2 and tat-rev exon 3: evidence for inhibition mediated by cellular factors.

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) pre-mRNA splicing is regulated in order to maintain pools of unspliced and partially spliced viral RNAs as well as the appropriate levels of multiply spliced mRNAs during virus infection. We have previously described an element in tat exon 2 that negatively regulates splicing at the upstream tat 3' splice site 3 (B. A. Amendt, D. Hesslein, L.-J. Chang, and C. M. Stoltzfus, Mol. Cell. Biol. 14:3960-3970, 1994). In this study, we further defined the element to a 20-nucleotide (nt) region which spans the C-terminal vpr and N-terminal tat coding sequences. By analogy with exon splicing enhancer (ESE) elements, we have termed this element an exon splicing silencer (ESS). We show evidence for another negative cis-acting region within tat-rev exon 3 of HIV-1 RNA that has sequence motifs in common with a 20-nt ESS element in tat exon 2. This sequence is juxtaposed to a purine-rich ESE element to form a bipartite element regulating splicing at the upstream tat-rev 3' splice site. Inhibition of the splicing of substrates containing the ESS element in tat exon 2 occurs at an early stage of spliceosome assembly. The inhibition of splicing mediated by the ESS can be specifically abrogated by the addition of competitor RNA. Our results suggest that HIV-1 RNA splicing is regulated by cellular factors that bind to positive and negative cis elements in tat exon 2 and tat-rev exon 3.[1]


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