1887

Abstract

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Gag and Gag–Pol precursors are translated from an mRNA which is indistinguishable from the full-length genomic RNA. The ratio of Gag to Gag–Pol polyproteins is approximately 20:1 and is controlled by a frameshift of the reading frame, which takes place downstream of the p7 nucleocapsid (NC) in the N terminus of the p1 peptide. The viral precursors Gag and Gag–Pol are cleaved by the virus-encoded protease (PR) into the structural proteins, and into p6, PR, reverse transcriptase and integrase. Due to the frameshift event, the cleavage site at the C terminus of NC coded in the Gag frame (ERQAN-FLGKI) changes either to ERQANFLRED or ERQANFFRED. The results presented in this report demonstrate that the NC released from the Gag–Pol precursor is 8 amino acid residues longer than the NC cleaved from the Gag polyprotein. Our results also show that truncated Gag–Pol precursors bearing cleavage site mutation at the NC/p6, and/or p6/PR junctions, undergo autoprocessing in bacterial and eukaryotic cells, indicating that PR is active when part of the precursor.

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2001-03-01
2020-08-07
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