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1.  Transcriptional and Posttranscriptional Regulation of HIV-1 Gene Expression 
Control of HIV-1 gene expression depends on two viral regulatory proteins, Tat and Rev. Tat stimulates transcription elongation by directing the cellular transcriptional elongation factor P-TEFb to nascent RNA polymerases. Rev is required for the transport from the nucleus to the cytoplasm of the unspliced and incompletely spliced mRNAs that encode the structural proteins of the virus. Molecular studies of both proteins have revealed how they interact with the cellular machinery to control transcription from the viral LTR and regulate the levels of spliced and unspliced mRNAs. The regulatory feedback mechanisms driven by HIV-1 Tat and Rev ensure that HIV-1 transcription proceeds through distinct phases. In cells that are not fully activated, limiting levels of Tat and Rev act as potent blocks to premature virus production.
HIV-1 gene expression is controlled by RNA-binding proteins Tat and Rev. They orchestrate complex interactions with the cellular transcription, RNA splicing, and RNA transport machinery, and are important targets for drug discovery.
doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a006916
PMCID: PMC3281586  PMID: 22355797
2.  Excessive RNA Splicing and Inhibition of HIV-1 Replication Induced by Modified U1 Small Nuclear RNAs▿  
Journal of Virology  2010;84(24):12790-12800.
HIV-1 RNA undergoes a complex splicing process whereby over 40 different mRNA species are produced by alternative splicing. In addition, approximately half of the RNA transcripts remain unspliced and either are used to encode Gag and Gag-Pol proteins or are packaged into virions as genomic RNA. It has previously been shown that HIV-1 splicing is regulated by cis elements that bind to cellular factors. These factors either enhance or repress definition of exons that are flanked by the HIV-1 3′ splice sites. Here we report that expression of modified U1 snRNPs with increased affinity to HIV-1 downstream 5′ splice sites and to sequences within the first tat coding exon act to selectively increase splicing at the upstream 3′ splice sites in cotransfected 293T cells. This results in a decrease of unspliced viral RNA levels and an approximately 10-fold decrease in virus production. In addition, excessive splicing of viral RNA is concomitant with a striking reduction in the relative amounts of Gag processing intermediates and products. We also show that T cell lines expressing modified U1 snRNAs exhibit reduced HIV-1 replication. Our results suggest that induction of excessive HIV-1 RNA splicing may be a novel strategy to inhibit virus replication in human patients.
doi:10.1128/JVI.01257-10
PMCID: PMC3004309  PMID: 20926575
3.  Regulation of vif mRNA Splicing by Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Requires 5′ Splice Site D2 and an Exonic Splicing Enhancer To Counteract Cellular Restriction Factor APOBEC3G▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;83(12):6067-6078.
The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) accessory protein Vif is encoded by an incompletely spliced mRNA resulting from splicing of the major splice donor in the HIV-1 genome, 5′ splice site (5′ss) D1, to the first splice acceptor, 3′ss A1. We have shown previously that splicing of HIV-1 vif mRNA is tightly regulated by suboptimal 5′ss D2, which is 50 nucleotides downstream of 3′ss A1; a GGGG silencer motif proximal to 5′ss D2; and an SRp75-dependent exonic splicing enhancer (ESEVif). In agreement with the exon definition hypothesis, mutations within 5′ss D2 that are predicted to increase or decrease U1 snRNP binding affinity increase or decrease the usage of 3′ss A1 (D2-up and D2-down mutants, respectively). In this report, the importance of 5′ss D2 and ESEVif for avoiding restriction of HIV-1 by APOBEC3G (A3G) was determined by testing the infectivities of a panel of mutant viruses expressing different levels of Vif. The replication of D2-down and ESEVif mutants in permissive CEM-SS cells was not significantly different from that of wild-type HIV-1. Mutants that expressed Vif in 293T cells at levels greater than 10% of that of the wild type replicated similarly to the wild type in H9 cells, and Vif levels as low as 4% were affected only modestly in H9 cells. This is in contrast to Vif-deleted HIV-1, whose replication in H9 cells was completely inhibited. To test whether elevated levels of A3G inhibit replication of D2-down and ESEVif mutants relative to wild-type virus replication, a Tet-off Jurkat T-cell line that expressed approximately 15-fold-higher levels of A3G than control Tet-off cells was generated. Under these conditions, the fitness of all D2-down mutant viruses was reduced relative to that of wild-type HIV-1, and the extent of inhibition was correlated with the level of Vif expression. The replication of an ESEVif mutant was also inhibited only at higher levels of A3G. Thus, wild-type 5′ss D2 and ESEVif are required for production of sufficient Vif to allow efficient HIV-1 replication in cells expressing relatively high levels of A3G.
doi:10.1128/JVI.02231-08
PMCID: PMC2687371  PMID: 19357165
4.  Gag-Processing Defect of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Integrase E246 and G247 Mutants Is Caused by Activation of an Overlapping 5′ Splice Site▿  
Journal of Virology  2007;82(3):1600-1604.
We have previously described several human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) mutants that are characterized by an excessive-RNA-splicing phenotype and reduced virus particle production. In one of these mutants (NLD2up), the sequence of 5′ splice site D2 was changed to a consensus splice donor site. This splice site overlaps the HIV-1 integrase reading frame, and thus, the NLD2up mutant also bears a G-to-W change at amino acid 247 of the integrase. A previously described E-to-K mutant at position 246 of the C-terminal domain of the integrase, which resulted in a G-to-A mutation at the +3 position of overlapping splice donor D2 (NLD2A3), was also shown to affect virus particle production and Gag protein processing. By using second-site mutations to revert the excessive-splicing phenotype, we show that the effects on Gag protein processing and virus particle production of both the NLD2up and NLD2A3 mutants are caused by excessive viral RNA splicing due to the activation of the overlapping 5′ splice site and not to the changes in the integrase protein. Both integrase protein mutations, however, are lethal for virus infectivity. These studies suggest that changes in the usage of overlapping splice sites may be a possible alternative explanation for a defective virus phenotype resulting from changes in protein-coding sequences or in the nucleotide sequence during codon optimization.
doi:10.1128/JVI.02295-07
PMCID: PMC2224444  PMID: 18032510
5.  HIV-1 infection induces changes in expression of cellular splicing factors that regulate alternative viral splicing and virus production in macrophages 
Retrovirology  2008;5:18.
Background
Macrophages are important targets and long-lived reservoirs of HIV-1, which are not cleared of infection by currently available treatments. In the primary monocyte-derived macrophage model of infection, replication is initially productive followed by a decline in virion output over ensuing weeks, coincident with a decrease in the levels of the essential viral transactivator protein Tat. We investigated two possible mechanisms in macrophages for regulation of viral replication, which appears to be primarily regulated at the level of tat mRNA: 1) differential mRNA stability, used by cells and some viruses for the rapid regulation of gene expression and 2) control of HIV-1 alternative splicing, which is essential for optimal viral replication.
Results
Following termination of transcription at increasing times after infection in macrophages, we found that tat mRNA did indeed decay more rapidly than rev or nef mRNA, but with similar kinetics throughout infection. In addition, tat mRNA decayed at least as rapidly in peripheral blood lymphocytes. Expression of cellular splicing factors in uninfected and infected macrophage cultures from the same donor showed an inverse pattern over time between enhancing factors (members of the SR family of RNA binding proteins) and inhibitory factors (members of the hnRNP family). While levels of the SR protein SC35 were greatly up-regulated in the first week or two after infection, hnRNPs of the A/B and H groups were down-regulated. Around the peak of virus production in each culture, SC35 expression declined to levels in uninfected cells or lower, while the hnRNPs increased to control levels or above. We also found evidence for increased cytoplasmic expression of SC35 following long-term infection.
Conclusion
While no evidence of differential regulation of tat mRNA decay was found in macrophages following HIV-1 infection, changes in the balance of cellular splicing factors which regulate alternative viral pre-mRNA splicing were observed. These changes correlated with changes in Tat expression and virus production and could play an important role in viral persistence in macrophages. This mechanism could provide a novel target for control of infection in this critical cell type, which would be necessary for eventual eradication of the virus from infected individuals.
doi:10.1186/1742-4690-5-18
PMCID: PMC2267807  PMID: 18241354
6.  A suboptimal 5' splice site downstream of HIV-1 splice site A1 is required for unspliced viral mRNA accumulation and efficient virus replication 
Retrovirology  2006;3:10.
Background
Inefficient alternative splicing of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1(HIV-1) primary RNA transcript results in greater than half of all viral mRNA remaining unspliced. Regulation of HIV-1 alternative splicing occurs through the presence of suboptimal viral 5' and 3' splice sites (5' and 3'ss), which are positively regulated by exonic splicing enhancers (ESE) and negatively regulated by exonic splicing silencers (ESS) and intronic splicing silencers (ISS). We previously showed that splicing at HIV-1 3'ss A2 is repressed by ESSV and enhanced by the downstream 5'ss D3 signal. Disruption of ESSV results in increased vpr mRNA accumulation and exon 3 inclusion, decreased accumulation of unspliced viral mRNA, and decreased virus production.
Results
Here we show that optimization of the 5'ss D2 signal results in increased splicing at the upstream 3'ss A1, increased inclusion of exon 2 into viral mRNA, decreased accumulation of unspliced viral mRNA, and decreased virus production. Virus production from the 5'ss D2 and ESSV mutants was rescued by transient expression of HIV-1 Gag and Pol. We further show that the increased inclusion of either exon 2 or 3 does not significantly affect the stability of viral mRNA but does result in an increase and decrease, respectively, in HIV-1 mRNA levels. The changes in viral mRNA levels directly correlate with changes in tat mRNA levels observed upon increased inclusion of exon 2 or 3.
Conclusion
These results demonstrate that splicing at HIV-1 3'ss A1 is regulated by the strength of the downstream 5'ss signal and that suboptimal splicing at 3'ss A1 is necessary for virus replication. Furthermore, the replication defective phenotype resulting from increased splicing at 3'ss A1 is similar to the phenotype observed upon increased splicing at 3'ss A2. Further examination of the role of 5'ss D2 and D3 in the alternative splicing of 3'ss A1 and A2, respectively, is necessary to delineate a role for non-coding exon inclusion in HIV-1 replication.
doi:10.1186/1742-4690-3-10
PMCID: PMC1403798  PMID: 16457729
7.  An Exonic Splicing Silencer Downstream of the 3′ Splice Site A2 Is Required for Efficient Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Replication 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(16):10478-10486.
Alternative splicing of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) genomic mRNA produces more than 40 unique viral mRNA species, of which more than half remain incompletely spliced within an HIV-1-infected cell. Regulation of splicing at HIV-1 3′ splice sites (3′ss) requires suboptimal polypyrimidine tracts, and positive or negative regulation of splicing occurs through binding of cellular factors to cis-acting splicing regulatory elements. We have previously shown that splicing at HIV-1 3′ss A2, which produces vpr mRNA and promotes inclusion of HIV-1 exon 3, is repressed by the hnRNP A/B-dependent exonic splicing silencer ESSV. Here we show that ESSV activity downstream of 3′ss A2 is localized to a 16-nucleotide element within HIV-1 exon 3. HIV-1 replication was reduced by 95% when ESSV was inactivated by mutagenesis. Reduced replication was concomitant with increased inclusion of exon 3 within spliced viral mRNA and decreased accumulation of unspliced viral mRNA, resulting in decreased cell-associated p55 Gag. Prolonged culture of ESSV mutant viruses resulted in two independent second-site reversions disrupting the splice sites that define exon 3, 3′ss A2 and 5′ splice site D3. Either of these changes restored both HIV-1 replication and regulated viral splicing. Therefore, inhibition of HIV-1 3′ss A2 splicing is necessary for HIV-1 replication.
doi:10.1128/JVI.79.16.10478-10486.2005
PMCID: PMC1182660  PMID: 16051840
8.  Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 hnRNP A/B-Dependent Exonic Splicing Silencer ESSV Antagonizes Binding of U2AF65 to Viral Polypyrimidine Tracts 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2003;23(23):8762-8772.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) exonic splicing silencers (ESSs) inhibit production of certain spliced viral RNAs by repressing alternative splicing of the viral precursor RNA. Several HIV-1 ESSs interfere with spliceosome assembly by binding cellular hnRNP A/B proteins. Here, we have further characterized the mechanism of splicing repression using a representative HIV-1 hnRNP A/B-dependent ESS, ESSV, which regulates splicing at the vpr 3′ splice site. We show that hnRNP A/B proteins bound to ESSV are necessary to inhibit E complex assembly by competing with the binding of U2AF65 to the polypyrimidine tracts of repressed 3′ splice sites. We further show evidence suggesting that U1 snRNP binds the 5′ splice site despite an almost complete block of splicing by ESSV. Possible splicing-independent functions of U1 snRNP-5′ splice site interactions during virus replication are discussed.
doi:10.1128/MCB.23.23.8762-8772.2003
PMCID: PMC262674  PMID: 14612416
9.  RNA Splicing at Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 3′ Splice Site A2 Is Regulated by Binding of hnRNP A/B Proteins to an Exonic Splicing Silencer Element 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(18):8487-8497.
The synthesis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) mRNAs is a complex process by which more than 30 different mRNA species are produced by alternative splicing of a single primary RNA transcript. HIV-1 splice sites are used with significantly different efficiencies, resulting in different levels of mRNA species in infected cells. Splicing of Tat mRNA, which is present at relatively low levels in infected cells, is repressed by the presence of exonic splicing silencers (ESS) within the two tat coding exons (ESS2 and ESS3). These ESS elements contain the consensus sequence PyUAG. Here we show that the efficiency of splicing at 3′ splice site A2, which is used to generate Vpr mRNA, is also regulated by the presence of an ESS (ESSV), which has sequence homology to ESS2 and ESS3. Mutagenesis of the three PyUAG motifs within ESSV increases splicing at splice site A2, resulting in increased Vpr mRNA levels and reduced skipping of the noncoding exon flanked by A2 and D3. The increase in Vpr mRNA levels and the reduced skipping also occur when splice site D3 is mutated toward the consensus sequence. By in vitro splicing assays, we show that ESSV represses splicing when placed downstream of a heterologous splice site. A1, A1B, A2, and B1 hnRNPs preferentially bind to ESSV RNA compared to ESSV mutant RNA. Each of these proteins, when added back to HeLa cell nuclear extracts depleted of ESSV-binding factors, is able to restore splicing repression. The results suggest that coordinate repression of HIV-1 RNA splicing is mediated by members of the hnRNP A/B protein family.
doi:10.1128/JVI.75.18.8487-8497.2001
PMCID: PMC115094  PMID: 11507194
10.  Repair of a Rev-Minus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Mutant by Activation of a Cryptic Splice Site 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(7):3495-3500.
We isolated a revertant virus after prolonged culturing of a replication-impaired human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) mutant of which the Rev open reading frame was inactivated by mutation of the AUG translation initiation codon. Sequencing of the tat-rev region of this revertant virus identified a second-site mutation in tat that restored virus replication in the mutant background. This mutation activated a cryptic 5′ splice site (ss) that, when used in conjunction with the regular HIV 3′ ss #5, fuses the tat and rev reading frames to encode a novel T-Rev fusion protein that rescues Rev function. We also demonstrate an alternative route to indirectly activate this cryptic 5′ ss by mutational inactivation of an adjacent exon splicing silencer element.
doi:10.1128/JVI.75.7.3495-3500.2001
PMCID: PMC114146  PMID: 11238879
11.  Conserved stem–loop structures in the HIV-1 RNA region containing the A3 3′ splice site and its cis-regulatory element: possible involvement in RNA splicing 
Nucleic Acids Research  2001;29(2):464-478.
The HIV-1 transcript is alternatively spliced to over 30 different mRNAs. Whether RNA secondary structure can influence HIV-1 RNA alternative splicing has not previously been examined. Here we have determined the secondary structure of the HIV-1/BRU RNA segment, containing the alternative A3, A4a, A4b, A4c and A5 3′ splice sites. Site A3, required for tat mRNA production, is contained in the terminal loop of a stem–loop structure (SLS2), which is highly conserved in HIV-1 and related SIVcpz strains. The exon splicing silencer (ESS2) acting on site A3 is located in a long irregular stem–loop structure (SLS3). Two SLS3 domains were protected by nuclear components under splicing condition assays. One contains the A4c branch points and a putative SR protein binding site. The other one is adjacent to ESS2. Unexpectedly, only the 3′ A residue of ESS2 was protected. The suboptimal A3 polypyrimidine tract (PPT) is base paired. Using site-directed mutagenesis and transfection of a mini-HIV-1 cDNA into HeLa cells, we found that, in a wild-type PPT context, a mutation of the A3 downstream sequence that reinforced SLS2 stability decreased site A3 utilization. This was not the case with an optimized PPT. Hence, sequence and secondary structure of the PPT may cooperate in limiting site A3 utilization.
PMCID: PMC29680  PMID: 11139617
12.  Selective Inhibition of Splicing at the Avian Sarcoma Virus src 3′ Splice Site by Direct-Repeat Posttranscriptional cis Elements 
Journal of Virology  2000;74(18):8513-8523.
The direct-repeat elements (dr1) of avian sarcoma virus (ASV) and leukosis virus have the properties of constitutive transport elements (CTEs), which facilitate cytoplasmic accumulation of unspliced RNA. It is thought that these elements represent binding sites for cellular factors. Previous studies have indicated that in the context of the avian sarcoma virus genome, precise deletion of both ASV dr1 elements results in a very low level of virus replication. This is characterized by a decreased cytoplasmic accumulation of unspliced RNA and a selective increase in spliced src mRNA. Deletion of either the upstream or downstream dr1 results in a delayed-replication phenotype. To determine if the same regions of the dr1 mediate inhibition of src splicing and unspliced RNA transport, point mutations in the upstream and downstream elements were studied. In the context of viral genomes with single dr1 elements, the effects of the mutations on virus replication and increases in src splicing closely paralleled the effects of the mutations on CTE activity. For mutants strongly affecting CTE activity and splicing, unspliced RNA but not spliced RNA turned over in the nucleus more rapidly than wild-type RNA. In the context of wild-type virus containing two dr1 elements, mutations of either element that strongly affect CTE activity caused a marked delay of virus replication and a selective increase in src splicing. However, the turnover of the mutant unspliced RNA as well as the spliced mRNA species did not differ significantly from that of the wild type. These results suggest the dr1 elements in ASV act to selectively inhibit src splicing and that both elements contribute to the fitness of the wild-type virus. However, a single dr1 element is sufficient to stabilize unspliced RNA.
PMCID: PMC116363  PMID: 10954552
13.  Binding of Equine Infectious Anemia Virus Rev to an Exon Splicing Enhancer Mediates Alternative Splicing and Nuclear Export of Viral mRNAs 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2000;20(10):3550-3557.
In addition to facilitating the nuclear export of incompletely spliced viral mRNAs, equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) Rev regulates alternative splicing of the third exon of the tat/rev mRNA. In the presence of Rev, this exon of the bicistronic RNA is skipped in a fraction of the spliced mRNAs. In this report, the cis-acting requirements for exon 3 usage were correlated with sequences necessary for Rev binding and transport of incompletely spliced RNA. The presence of a purine-rich exon splicing enhancer (ESE) was required for exon 3 recognition, and the addition of Rev inhibited exon 3 splicing. Glutathione-S-transferase (GST)-Rev bound to probes containing the ESE, and mutation of GAA repeats to GCA within the ESE inhibited both exon 3 recognition in RNA splicing experiments and GST-Rev binding in vitro. These results suggest that Rev regulates alternative splicing by binding at or near the ESE to block SR protein-ESE interactions. A 57-nucleotide sequence containing the ESE was sufficient to mediate Rev-dependent nuclear export of incompletely spliced RNAs. Rev export activity was significantly inhibited by mutation of the ESE or by trans-complementation with SF2/ASF. These results indicate that the ESE functions as a Rev-responsive element and demonstrate that EIAV Rev mediates exon 3 exclusion through protein-RNA interactions required for efficient export of incompletely spliced viral RNAs.
PMCID: PMC85647  PMID: 10779344
14.  Splicing Regulatory Elements within tat Exon 2 of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) Are Characteristic of Group M but Not Group O HIV-1 Strains 
Journal of Virology  1999;73(12):9764-9772.
In the NL4-3 strain of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), regulatory elements responsible for the relative efficiencies of alternative splicing at the tat, rev, and the env/nef 3′ splice sites (A3 through A5) are contained within the region of tat exon 2 and its flanking sequences. Two elements affecting splicing of tat, rev, and env/nef mRNAs have been localized to this region. First, an exon splicing silencer (ESS2) in NL4-3, located approximately 70 nucleotides downstream from the 3′ splice site used to generate tat mRNA, acts specifically to inhibit splicing at this splice site. Second, the A4b 3′ splice site, which is the most downstream of the three rev 3′ splice sites, also serves as an element inhibiting splicing at the env/nef 3′ splice site A5. These elements are conserved in some but not all HIV-1 strains, and the effects of these sequence changes on splicing have been investigated in cell transfection and in vitro splicing assays. SF2, another clade B virus and member of the major (group M) viruses, has several sequence changes within ESS2 and uses a different rev 3′ splice site. However, splicing is inhibited by the two elements similarly to NL4-3. As with the NL4-3 strain, the SF2 A4b AG dinucleotide overlaps an A5 branchpoint, and thus the inhibitory effect may result from competition of the same site for two different splicing factors. The sequence changes in ANT70C, a member of the highly divergent outlier (group O) viruses, are more extensive, and ESS2 activity in tat exon 2 is not present. Group O viruses also lack the rev 3′ splice site A4b, which is conserved in all group M viruses. Mutagenesis of the most downstream rev 3′ splice site of ANT70C does not increase splicing at A5, and all of the branchpoints are upstream of the two rev 3′ splice sites. Thus, splicing regulatory elements in tat exon 2 which are characteristic of most group M HIV-1 strains are not present in group O HIV-1 strains.
PMCID: PMC113023  PMID: 10559286
15.  The Exon Splicing Silencer in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Tat Exon 3 Is Bipartite and Acts Early in Spliceosome Assembly 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1998;18(9):5404-5413.
Inefficient splicing of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA is necessary to preserve unspliced and singly spliced viral RNAs for transport to the cytoplasm by the Rev-dependent pathway. Signals within the HIV-1 genome that control the rate of splicing include weak 3′ splice sites, exon splicing enhancers (ESE), and exon splicing silencers (ESS). We have previously shown that an ESS present within tat exon 2 (ESS2) and a suboptimal 3′ splice site together act to inhibit splicing at the 3′ splice site flanking tat exon 2. This occurs at an early step in spliceosome assembly. Splicing at the 3′ splice site flanking tat exon 3 is regulated by a bipartite element composed of an ESE and an ESS (ESS3). Here we show that ESS3 is composed of two smaller elements (AGAUCC and UUAG) that can inhibit splicing independently. We also show that ESS3 is more active in the context of a heterologous suboptimal splice site than of an optimal 3′ splice site. ESS3 inhibits splicing by blocking the formation of a functional spliceosome at an early step, since A complexes are not detected in the presence of ESS3. Competitor RNAs containing either ESS2 or ESS3 relieve inhibition of splicing of substrates containing ESS3 or ESS2. This suggests that a common cellular factor(s) may be required for the inhibition of tat mRNA splicing mediated by ESS2 and ESS3.
PMCID: PMC109125  PMID: 9710624
16.  Particles of Reduced Infectivity and Deficient in Envelope Glycoproteins Are Produced in Cycloleucine-Treated B77 Avian Sarcoma Virus-Infected Chicken Embryo Fibroblasts 
Journal of Virology  1983;45(3):1207-1210.
We have previously shown that the inhibition of methylation reactions by the treatment of B77 avian sarcoma virus-infected cells with medium containing cycloleucine results in an inhibition in the intracellular accumulation of the spliced subgenomic mRNA for the virion envelope protein precursor, whereas the genome-size RNA accumulates in larger than normal amounts (C. M. Stoltzfus and R. W. Dane, J. Virol. 42:918-931, 1982). To measure the production of virus particles, we have now determined the reverse transcriptase activity in the culture fluid from infected cells treated with various concentrations of cycloleucine. The activity was somewhat greater in the fluid from the cycloleucine-treated cells than it was in the fluid from the control cells, suggesting an enhancement of particle production in the presence of cycloleucine. In contrast, the production of infectious virions, as determined by the focus assay, decreased when the cycloleucine concentration of the medium increased. We determined the polypeptide compositions of purified particles produced from infected cells treated with or without cycloleucine and labeled with [3H]leucine. The relative amounts of radioactivity associated with p19 and p27 were approximately the same in all of the preparations. In contrast, significant decreases were observed in the relative amounts of [3H]leucine radioactivity associated with the virion glycoproteins gp85 and gp37. The extent of the decrease in the ratio of gp85 to p27 was a function of the cycloleucine concentration and correlated well with the decrease in the infectivity of the virus particles. Therefore, it is probable that the observed reduction of specific infectivity results from the reduced amounts of envelope glycoproteins in the particles budding from cycloleucine-treated cells.
PMCID: PMC256535  PMID: 6187942
17.  Accumulation of Spliced Avian Retrovirus mRNA Is Inhibited in S-Adenosylmethionine-Depleted Chicken Embryo Fibroblasts 
Journal of Virology  1982;42(3):918-931.
The synthesis and processing of B77 avian sarcoma virus RNA in infected chicken embryo fibroblasts was followed in the presence and absence of cycloleucine, a competitive inhibitor of the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine and thus an inhibitor of RNA methylations. An increase in the steady-state levels of genome-length RNA and a decrease in the steady-state levels of subgenomic RNA molecules were obtained in the S-adenosylmethionine-depleted avian sarcoma virus-infected cells after 24 h of treatment with the inhibitor. The total number of virus-specific RNA molecules per cell, however, remained relatively constant under either condition. The production of newly synthesized virus-specific RNA in cycloleucine-treated and untreated cells infected with a transformation-defective strain of B77 avian sarcoma virus was followed as a function of [3H]uridine labeling time. The accumulation of radioactive genome-length 8.4-kilobase (kb) RNA continued in cycloleucine-treated cells, and virus particle production proceeded at normal rates as previously shown by incorporation of labeled nucleoside precursors or amino acids. In contrast, newly synthesized 3.5-kb subgenomic mRNA, the putative mRNA for the envelope protein precursor, failed to accumulate in the treated cells. The extent of the inhibition in the appearance of the radioactive 3.5-kb RNA was correlated with the extent of the inhibition of viral genomic and cellular mRNA methylations and was a function of the cycloleucine concentration. Under conditions in which the accumulation of 3.5-kb envelope protein mRNA was blocked by the cycloleucine treatment, there were significant increases in the rate of synthesis of the polypeptide products of the genome-length RNA, the precursors to the non-glycosylated gag proteins (Pr76gag), and the reverse transcriptase (Pr 180gag pol) relative to the rate of synthesis of the envelope protein precursor (gPr 92env). These results suggest that there is an S-adenosylmethionine requirement for the splicing, but not for the synthesis, packaging, or messenger function, of avian retrovirus genome-length RNA. Possible reasons for this requirement are discussed.
Images
PMCID: PMC256926  PMID: 6285005
18.  Evidence for the Identity of Shared 5′-Terminal Sequences Between Genome RNA and Subgenomic mRNA's of B77 Avian Sarcoma Virus 
Journal of Virology  1979;32(2):536-545.
The polyribosomal fraction from chicken embryo fibroblasts infected with B77 avian sarcoma virus contained 38S, 28S, and 21S virus-specific RNAs in which sequences identical to the 5′-terminal 101 bases of the 38S genome RNA were present. The only polyadenylic acid-containing RNA species with 5′ sequences which was detectable in purified virions had a sedimentation coefficient of 38S. This evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that a leader sequence derived from the 5′ terminus of the RNA is spliced to the bodies of the 28S and 21S mRNA's, both of which have been shown previously to be derived from the 3′ terminal half of the 38S RNA. The entire 101-base 5′ terminal sequence of the genome RNA appeared to be present in the majority of the subgenomic intracellular virus-specific mRNA's, as established by several different methods. First, the extent of hybridization of DNA complementary to the 5′-terminal 101 bases of the genome to polyadenylic acid-containing subgenomic RNA was similar to the extent of its hybridization to 38S RNA from infected cells and from purified virions. Second, the fraction of the total cellular polyadenylic acid-containing RNA with 5′ sequences was similar to the fraction of RNA containing sequences identical to the extreme 3′ terminus of the genome RNA when calculated by the rate of hybridization of the appropriate complementary DNA probes. This suggests that most intracellular virus-specific RNA molecules contain sequences identical to those present in the 5′-terminal 101 bases of the genome. Third, the size of most of the radioactively labeled DNA complementary to the 5′-terminal 101 bases of the genome remained unchanged after the probe was annealed to either intracellular 38S RNA or to various size classes of subgenomic RNA and the hybrids were digested with S1 nuclease and denatured with alkali. However, after this procedure some DNA fragments of lower molecular weight were present. This was not the case when the DNA complementary to the 5′-terminal 101 bases of the genome was annealed to 38S genome RNA. These results suggest that, although the majority of the intracellular RNA contains the entire 101-base 5′-terminal leader sequence, a small population of virus-specific RNAs exist that contain either a shortened 5′ leader sequence or additional splicing in the terminal 101 bases.
PMCID: PMC353586  PMID: 228077
19.  Capsid Polypeptides of Mouse Elberfeld Virus I. Amino Acid Compositions and Molar Ratios in the Virion 
Journal of Virology  1972;10(3):347-355.
The four major polypeptide chains (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) constituting the capsid protein of mouse Elberfeld (ME) virus were isolated by preparative electrophoresis on polyacrylamide gels, and the amino acid composition of each chain was determined. In addition, the molecular weights of the smallest chains of ME virus, mengovirus, and poliovirus, which had previously been determined by gel electrophoretic methods, were redetermined by gel filtration chromatography in 6 m guanidine hydrochloride. Each was found to have a molecular weight about 7,300. Using the reevaluated molecular weights and the known amino acid compositions of the chains, the molar ratio of each chain in the ME virion was determined by quantitative analysis of the distribution of radioactivity in the electrophoretically separated chains of virus which had been specifically radiolabeled with leucine or with methionine. Equimolar proportions of all four chains were found in the virion.
PMCID: PMC356473  PMID: 4342047

Results 1-19 (19)