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Human T-cell leukemia virus type 2 Rex protein increases stability and promotes nuclear to cytoplasmic transport of gag/pol and env RNAs.


J Virol. 1999 Oct;73(10):8112-9. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE

The human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV) Rex protein is essential for efficient expression of the viral structural and enzymatic gene products. In this study, we assessed the role of the HTLV-2 rex gene in viral RNA expression and Gag protein production. Following transfection of human JM4 T cells with wild-type and rex mutant full-length proviral constructs, PCR was used for semiquantitative analysis of specific viral RNA transcripts. In the presence of Rex, the total amount of steady-state viral RNA was increased fourfold. Rex significantly up-regulated the level of incompletely spliced RNAs by increasing RNA stability and was associated with a twofold down-regulation of the completely spliced tax/rex RNA. PCR analysis of subcellular RNA fractions, isolated from transfected cells, indicated that the level of gag/pol and env cytoplasmic RNAs were increased 7- to 9-fold in the presence of Rex, whereas Gag protein production was increased 130-fold. These data indicate that HTLV-2 Rex increases the stability and promotes nucleus-to-cytoplasm transport of the incompletely spliced viral RNAs, ultimately resulting in increased structural protein production. Moreover, this model system provides a sensitive approach to further characterize HTLV gene expression from full-length proviral clones following transfection of human T cells.

JOURNAL ARTICLE B-Lymphocytes/VIROLOGY Biological Transport Cell Line Cell Nucleus/VIROLOGY Cytoplasm/VIROLOGY Gene Products, gag/*PHYSIOLOGY Gene Products, pol/*PHYSIOLOGY Gene Products, rex/*PHYSIOLOGY Human HTLV-II/*PHYSIOLOGY RNA, Viral/*PHYSIOLOGY Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S. T-Lymphocytes/VIROLOGY Viral Envelope Proteins/*PHYSIOLOGY Virus Replication


Information in this article was accurate in December 30, 1999. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.