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Analysis of Tat transactivation of human immunodeficiency virus transcription in vitro

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The HIV Tat protein is a potent transactivator of HIV transcription, increasing both RNA initiation and elongation. We now demonstrate that purified, full-length 86 amino acid Tat protein specifically transactivates the HIV LTR in vitro to a high level (25- to 60-fold). Tat transactivation was specifically blocked by anti-Tat serum, but not preimmune serum. Tat did not transactivate transcription from the control adenovirus major late promoter (AdMLP). HIV transcription was blocked at various functional steps during initiation and elongation complex formation. Similar to the control AdMLP, HIV basal initiation complex assembly was sensitive to the addition of 0.015 % sarkosyl prior to the addition of nucleoside triphosphates. Resistance to 0.05% sarkosyl required the addition of G, C, and U, which constitute the first 13 bases of the HIV RNA transcript. The addition of Tat to the in vitro transcription relieved the 0.015% sarkosyl block. These Tat-induced complexes were sensitive to 0.05 % sarkosyl, suggesting that transcriptional initiation had not occurred. Consistent with this hypothesis, the addition of G, C, and U to the Tat-induced transcription complexes allowed the rapid conversion to transcription initiation complexes. Tat also facilitated the formation of 0.015% sarkosyl-resistant complexes in a reconstituted transcription system containing partially purified transcription factors and polymerase II. Following the formation of stable initiation complexes, Tat increased the rate and efficiency of transcription elongation on the HIV but not the AdML template. Kinetic analysis of Tat transactivation suggests that approximately 30% of the Tat initiation complexes are converted to elongation complexes. We conclude that Tat, in addition to its demonstrated role in RNA elongation, facilitates transcription initiation in vitro.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1992

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  • Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research will publish articles in all aspects of hepatology. Hepatology, as a research discipline, has seen unprecedented growth especially in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hepatic health and disease, which continues to have a major impact on understanding liver development, stem cells, carcinogenesis, tissue engineering, injury, repair, regeneration, immunology, metabolism, fibrosis, and transplantation. Continued research and improved understanding in these areas will have a meaningful impact on liver disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The existing journal Gene Expression has expanded its focus to become Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research to meet this growing demand. In its revised and expanded scope, the journal will publish high-impact original articles, reviews, short but complete articles, and special articles (editorials, commentaries, opinions) on all aspects of hepatology, making it a unique and invaluable resource for readers interested in this field. The expanded team, led by an Editor-in-Chief who is uniquely qualified and a renowned expert, along with a dynamic and functional editorial board, is determined to make this a premier journal in the field of hepatology.

    From Volume 16, Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND license.

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