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Selection of Retroviral Reverse Transcription Primer Is Coordinated with tRNA Biogenesis

By Nathan J. Kelly, Matthew T. Palmer and Casey D. Morrow


Initiation of retrovirus reverse transcription requires the selection of a tRNA primer from the intracellular milieu. To investigate the features of primer selection, a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and a murine leukemia virus (MuLV) were created that require yeast tRNAPhe to be supplied in trans for infectivity. Wild-type yeast tRNAPhe expressed in mammalian cells was transported to the cytoplasm and aminoacylated. In contrast, tRNAPhe without the D loop (tRNAPheD−) was retained within the nucleus and did not complement infectivity of either HIV-1 or MuLV; however, infectivity was restored when tRNAPheD− was directly transfected into the cytoplasm of cells. A tRNAPhe mutant (tRNAPheUUA) that did not have the capacity to be aminoacylated was transported to the cytoplasm and did complement infectivity of both HIV-1 and MuLV, albeit at a level less than that with wild-type tRNAPhe. Collectively, our results demonstrate that the tRNA primer captured by HIV-1 and MuLV occurs after nuclear export of tRNA and supports a model in which primer selection for retroviruses is coordinated with tRNA biogenesis at the intracellular site of protein synthesis

Topics: Replication
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1128/JVI.77.16.8695-8701.2003
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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