Human immunodeficiency virus may encode a novel protein on the genomic DNA plus strand

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Science  18 Mar 1988:
Vol. 239, Issue 4846, pp. 1420-1422
DOI: 10.1126/science.3347840


The genome of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is known to contain eight open reading frames (ORFs) on the minus strand of the double-stranded DNA replicative intermediate. Data presented here indicate that the DNA plus strand of HIV contains a previously unidentified ORF in a region complementary to the envelope gene sequence. This ORF could encode a protein of approximately 190 amino acid residues with a relative molecular mass of 20 kilodaltons if translation began from the first initiation codon. The predicted protein is highly hydrophobic and thus could be membrane associated. It is possible, therefore, that the HIV genome encodes a protein on antisense messenger RNA.