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

Characterization of the p68/ p58 heterodimer of human immunodeficiency virus type 2 reverse transcriptase.

Recently we demonstrated that the p58 subunit of p68/ p58 HIV-2 reverse transcriptase (RT) heterodimer, produced by processing of p68/ p68 homodimer with recombinant HIV-2 protease, terminates at Met484 [Fan, N., et al. (1995) J. Biol. Chem. 270, 13573-13579]. Here we describe purification and characterization of the p68/ p58 heterodimer of recombinant HIV-2 RT. It exhibited both RT and RNase H activities, obeyed Michaelis-Menten kinetics, and was competitively inhibited by the DNA chain terminator ddTTP (Ki[app] = 305 +/- 20 nM). The HIV-2 RT-associated RNase H exhibited a marked preference for RNA hydrolysis from a HIV-1 gag-based heteropolymeric RNA/DNA hybrid in the presence of either Mg2+ or Mn2+, compared to the [3H]poly(rA).poly(dT) or [3H]poly(rG).poly(dC) homopolymeric substrates. Relative to HIV-1 RT, the RNase H activity of HIV-2 RT was only 5% toward the [3H]poly(rA).poly(dT) in the presence of Mg2+. The size distribution of products generated from [3H]poly(rA).poly(dT) by HIV-2 RT-associated RNase H was markedly distinct from that of HIV-1 RT in the presence of Mg2+ or Mn2+. The p68/ p58 HIV-2 RT heterodimer, produced by specific cleavage using HIV-2 protease, should be useful for inhibition and biophysical studies aimed at discovering and designing drugs directed toward HIV-2.[1]


  1. Characterization of the p68/p58 heterodimer of human immunodeficiency virus type 2 reverse transcriptase. Fan, N., Rank, K.B., Poppe, S.M., Tarpley, W.G., Sharma, S.K. Biochemistry (1996) [Pubmed]
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