During infection of cells by retroviruses, some of the nonintegrated viral DNA can be found as a circular form containing two tandem, directly repeated long terminal repeats. The nucleotide sequence at the point where the long terminal repeats join (the circle junction) can be used to deduce the terminal nucleotides of the linear form of the viral DNA. Comparison of the termini of linear viral DNA with sequences at the junctions between the integrated provirus and the host chromosome has revealed that for most retroviruses 2 bp are removed from each end of the linear viral DNA during integration. For human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), however, sequence considerations involving primer-binding sites had suggested that only 1 bp is removed during integration. We obtained the nucleotide sequences at the ends of HIV-1 DNA by using the polymerase chain reaction to amplify fragments corresponding to the HIV-1 circle junction. Of 17 clones containing amplified sequences, 10 had identical circle junctions that contained an additional 4 bp (GTAC) relative to the integrated provirus. This indicates that, as for other retroviruses, 2 bp are removed from each end of the linear HIV-1 viral DNA during integration. The remaining seven isolates contained insertions or deletions at the circle junction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science