Re: A second response to Christopher Noble's "What part of "infectious molecular clone" do you fail to understand?" 20 April 2004
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Brian T Foley,
HIV Researcher
Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos, NM 87545

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Re: Re: A second response to Christopher Noble's "What part of "infectious molecular clone" do you fail to understand?"

Perhaps Chris Noble does not need to tell HIV researchers that they cannot make poly-adenylated RNA into an infectious molecular clone of HIV-1 or HIV-2 because they already know this. Infectious molecular clones of HIV-1 are not polyadenylated. RNA splicing and polyadenylation occur in the nucleus, although there are also cytoplasmic version of polyadenylation (1). Early transcripts of HIV-1 and other lentiviruses are spliced, polyadenylated and exported from the nucleus. One of the products of spliced HIV-1 mRNA is the Rev protein, which is then imported to the nucleus, where it binds to unspliced HIV-1 genomic RNA and facilitates its export from the nucleus in the unspliced form (2).

Nobody has ever claimed that poly-A mRNA of any type, including polyadenylated HIV-1 transcripts, can be converted into infectious viral particles.

1: Read RL, Norbury CJ.
Roles for cytoplasmic polyadenylation in cell cycle regulation.
J Cell Biochem. 2002;87(3):258-65. Review.
PMID: 12397607

2: Kiss A, Li L, Gettemeier T, Venkatesh LK.
Functional analysis of the interaction of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Rev nuclear export signal with its cofactors.
Virology. 2003 Sep 30;314(2):591-600.
PMID: 14554087

Competing interests: None declared