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The connection domain in reverse transcriptase facilitates the in vivo annealing of tRNALys3 to HIV-1 genomic RNA

Authors
Journal
Retrovirology
1742-4690
Publisher
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Volume
1
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/1742-4690-1-33
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

The primer tRNA for reverse transcription in HIV-1, tRNALys3, is selectively packaged into the virus during its assembly, and annealed to the viral genomic RNA. The ribonucleoprotein complex that is involved in the packaging and annealing of tRNALys into HIV-1 consists of Gag, GagPol, tRNALys, lysyl-tRNA synthetase (LysRS), and viral genomic RNA. Gag targets tRNALys for viral packaging through Gag's interaction with LysRS, a tRNALys-binding protein, while reverse transcriptase (RT) sequences within GagPol (the thumb domain) bind to tRNALys. The further annealing of tRNALys3 to viral RNA requires nucleocapsid (NC) sequences in Gag, but not the NC sequences GagPol. In this report, we further show that while the RT connection domain in GagPol is not required for tRNALys3 packaging into the virus, it is required for tRNALys3 annealing to the viral RNA genome.

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