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Interactions with tRNALys induce important structural changes in human immunodeficiency virus reverse transcriptase

By Dominique Robert, Marie-Line Sallafranque-Andreola, Bruno Bordier, Leila Sarih-Cottin, Laura Tarrago-Litvak, Pierre Vincent Graves, Philip J. Barr, Michel Fournier and Simon Litvak


AbstractRetroviral RNA-dependent DNA polymerase (reverse transcriptase or RT) uses the 3'OH end of a cellular tRNA as primer to initiate DNA synthesis. Previous work with avian retrovirus has shown that reverse transcriptase is implicated in the selection of cellular virion-encapsidated tRNAs and has shown that the primer tRNA is positioned on the primer binding site near the 5' end of the viral RNA. These mechanisms support the idea that the retroviral polymerase should form complexes with primer tRNA and the specific encapsidated ones. The genomic sequence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) allows the prediction that tRNALys3 is the natural primer. In this article we show, using the mobility shift assay, that recombinant HIV reverse transcriptase is able to form a complex with bovine tRNALys. By fluorescence studies and α-chymotrypsin analysis we have observed a modification of the enzyme conformation when reverse transcriptase is bound to the putative primer tRNA. This structural change is specific for tRNALys although the retroviral polymerase is able to interact with other tRNAs

Publisher: Published by Elsevier B.V.
Year: 1990
DOI identifier: 10.1016/0014-5793(90)80855-D
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