Virus-specific splicing inhibitor in extracts from cells infected with HIV-1

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Science  16 Sep 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4872, pp. 1492-1495
DOI: 10.1126/science.3047873


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), in contrast with most other retroviruses, encodes trans-regulatory proteins for virus gene expression. It is shown in this study, by means of an in vitro splicing system, that nuclear extracts obtained from cells infected with HIV-1 contain a factor (or factors) that specifically inhibits splicing of a synthetic SP6/HIV pre-messenger RNA (pre-mRNA)-containing donor and acceptor splice sites in the coding region for the envelope protein. It is also shown that the SP6/HIV pre-mRNA is not capable of assembly in a ribonucleoprotein complex, spliceosome, in extracts from infected cells. These findings raise the possibility that specific inhibition of pre-mRNA splicing in the envelope protein coding region by HIV-1 trans-regulatory factors might be one control mechanism for efficient production of structural viral proteins and virion assembly.