Two questions to Brian Foley 28 April 2004
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Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos,
Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australa, 6001,
Valendar F Turner, John Papadimitriou, Barry Page, David Causer, Helman Alfonso, Sam Mhlongo, Todd Miller, Christian Fiala

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Re: Two questions to Brian Foley

Two questions to Brian Foley


In his rapid response “Re: A second response to Christopher Noble's "What part of "infectious molecular clone" do you fail to understand?" 20th April 2004, Brian Foley wrote: “RNA [cellular RNA] splicing and polyadenylation occur in the nucleus, although there are also cytoplasmic version of polyadenylation”.


This fact has been known for a long time by many individuals including retrovirologists such as Robert Gallo (1,2).   Because of this, it is difficult to understand why Gallo and Montagnier:

(i)                  banded their supernatants from cell cultures containing tissue from AIDS patients;

(ii)                selected a poly(A)-RNA from the 1.16gm/ml band (without showing that the band contained retrovirus particles either in the pure or impure form) and called it “HIV” RNA (“HIV” genome);

(iii)               introduced the cDNA of this poly(A)-RNA in cells and claimed that it proved molecular cloning of “HIV”. (3,4,5)


Is this true?   If not, where are we wrong?


Would please Brian Foley tell us what does he mean by “infectious molecular clone” of “HIV”?



1.       Edmonds M.  A History of Poly A Sequences: From Formation to Factors to Function. (2002)  p. 285-390. In: Progress in Nucleic Acid Research and Molecular Biology edited by Moldave K, Vol. 71.   Academic Press.

2.       Gillespie D, Marshall S, Gallo RC. RNA of RNA tumor viruses contains poly A. Nature: New biol 1972;236:227-231.

3.       Wain-Hobson S, Sonigo P, Danos O, Cole S, Alizon M. Nucleotide sequence of the AIDS virus, LAV. Cell 1985;40:9-17.

4.       Ratner L, Haseltine W, Patarca R, Livak KJ, Starcich B, Josephs SF, et al. Complete nucleotide sequence of the AIDS virus, HTLV-III. Nature 1985;313:277-284.

5.       Shaw GM, Hahn BH, Arya S, Groopman JE, Gallo RC, Wong-Staal F. Molecular characterization of human T-cell leukemia (lymphotropic) virus type III in the acquired immune deficiency syndrome.  (1984)  Science 226: 1165-1171






Competing interests: None declared