Brian T Foley,
Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos, NM 87545
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.
2: Kiss A, Li L, Gettemeier T, Venkatesh LK.
Competing interests: None declared