In previous transfection analyses using the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene system, we determined that linker substitution (LS) mutations between -201 and -130 (relative to the transcription start site) of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 long terminal repeat (LTR) caused moderate decreases in LTR transcriptional activity in a T-cell line (S. L. Zeichner, J. Y. H. Kim, and J. C. Alwine, J. Virol. 65:2436-2444, 1991). In order to confirm the significance of this region in the context of viral replication, we constructed several of these LS mutations (-201 to -184, -183 to -166, -165 to -148, and -148 to -130) in proviruses and prepared viral stocks by cocultivation of transfected RD cells with CEMx174 cells. In addition, two mutations between -93 and -76 and between -75 and -58 were utilized, since they affect the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB)- and Sp1-binding sites and were expected to diminish viral replication. Our results suggest that while transfection analyses offer an adequate approximation of the effects of the LS mutations, the analysis of viral replication using a mutant viral stock presents a more accurate picture, which is sometimes at variance with the transfection results. Three mutants (-201/-184 NXS, -165/-148 NXS, and -147/-130 NXS) had effects on viral replication that were much more severe than the effects predicted from their performance in transfection analyses, and the effects of two LS mutations (-201/-184 NXS and -183/-166 NXS) were not predicted by their effects in transfection. In addition, we observed cell type-specific permissiveness to replication of some mutant viruses. In the cell types tested, the LS mutations indicated an apparent requirement not only for the intact NF-κB- and SP1-binding sites but also for several regions between - 201 and -130 not previously associated with viral infectivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science