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Virologica Sinica, 31 (3) : 199, 2016
Research Article
Stability of HIV-1 subtype B and C Tat is associated with variation in the carboxyl-terminal region
Laboratory of Medical Molecular Virology, School of Medicine, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
 Correspondence: kongxh@nankai.edu.cn
The multifunctional trans-activator Tat is an essential regulatory protein for HIV-1 replication and is characterized by high sequence diversity. Numerous experimental studies have examined Tat in HIV-1 subtype B, but research on subtype C Tat is lacking, despite the high prevalence of infections caused by subtype C worldwide. We hypothesized that amino acid differences contribute to functional differences among Tat proteins. In the present study, we found that subtype B NL4-3 Tat and subtype C isolate HIV1084i Tat exhibited differences in stability by overexpressing the fusion protein Tat-Flag. In addition, 1084i Tat can activate LTR and NF-κB more efficiently than NL4-3 Tat. In analyses of the activities of the truncated forms of Tat, we found that the carboxylterminal region of Tat regulates its stability and transactivity. According to our results, we speculated that the differences in stability between B-Tat and C-Tat result in differences in transactivation ability.
Received: 20 Nov 2015  Accepted: 1 Mar 2016  Published online: 21 Mar 2016
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