The Vpr protein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) performs a number of functions that are associated with the nucleus. Vpr enhances the nuclear import of postentry viral nucleoprotein complexes, arrests proliferating cells in the G2 phase of the cell cycle, and acts as a modest transcriptional activator. For this paper, we have investigated the nuclear import of Vpr. Although Vpr does not encode a sequence that is recognizable as a nuclear localization signal (NLS), Vpr functions as a transferable NLS both in somatic cells ansi in Xenopus laevis oocytes. In certain contexts, Vpr also mediates substantial accumulation at the nuclear envelope and, in particular, at nuclear pore complexes (NPCs). Consistent with this, Vpr is shown to interact specifically with nucleoporin phenylalanine-glyeine (FG)- repeat regions. These findings not only demonstrate that Vpr harbors a bona fide NLS but also raise the possibility that one (or more) of Vpr's functions may take place at the NPC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science