Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.516, No.4, 1145-1151, 2019
Impact of 5 '-end nucleotide modifications of HIV-1 genomic RNA on reverse transcription
Reverse transcription of retroviral RNA is accomplished through a minus-strand strong stop cDNA (-sscDNA) synthesis and subsequent strand-transfer reactions. We have previously reported a critical role of guanosine (G) number at 5'-terminal of HIV-1 RNA for successful strand-transfer of -sscDNA. In this study, role(s) of the cap consisting of 7-methyl guanosine ((7m)G), a hallmark of transcripts generated by RNA polymerase H, at the 5'-end G nucleotide (5'-G) of HIV-1 RNA were examined. In parallel, contribution of highly conserved GGG tract located at the U3/R boundary in 3' terminal region of viral RNA (3'-GGG tract) was also addressed. The in vitro reverse transcription analysis using synthetic HIV-1 RNAs possessing the 5'-G with cap or triphosphate form demonstrated that the 5'-cap significantly increased strand-transfer efficiency of -sscDNA. Meanwhile, effect of the 5'-cap on the strand-transfer was retained in the reaction using mutant HIV-1 RNAs in which two Gs were deleted from the 3'-GGG tract. Lack of apparent contribution of the 3'-GGG tract during strand-transfer events in vitro was reproduced in the context of HIV-1 replication within cells. Instead, we noticed that the 3'-GGG tract might be required for efficient gene expression from proviral DNA. These results indicated that 7mG of the cap on HIV-1 RNA might not be reverse-transcribed and a possible role of the 3'-GGG tract to accept the non-template nucleotide addition during -sscDNA synthesis might be less likely. The 5'-G modifications of HIV-1 RNAs by the cap- or phosphate-removal enzyme revealed that the cap or monophosphate form of the 5'-G was preferred for the 1st strand-transfer compared to the triphosphate or non-phosphate form. Taken together, a status of the 5'-G determined strand-transfer efficiency of -sscDNA without affecting the non-template nucleotide addition, probably by affecting association of the 5'-G with 3'-end region of viral RNA. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.