1887

Abstract

The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) pre-integration complex (PIC) is a cytoplasmic nucleoprotein structure derived from the core of the virion and is responsible for reverse transcription of viral RNA to cDNA, transport to the nucleus and integration of the cDNA into the genome of the infected target cell. Others have shown by Mu phage-mediated PCR footprinting that only the LTRs of the cDNA of PICs isolated early in infection are protected by bound protein, while the rest of the genome is susceptible to nuclease attack. Here, using DNase I footprinting, we confirmed that the majority of the cDNA of PICs isolated at 8·5 h after infection with cell-free virus was sensitive to digestion with DNase I and that only part of the LTRs (approximately 6% of the total cDNA) was protected. However, PICs isolated 90 min later (at 10 h post-infection) were very different in that the majority (approximately 90%) of cDNA was protected from nuclease degradation. These late PICs were integration active . We conclude that HIV-1 has at least two types of PIC, an early PIC characterized by protein bound only at the LTRs, and a late, and possibly more mature form, in which protein is bound along the length of the cDNA.

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2002-10-01
2020-01-27
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