We describe an unusual element that activates the synthesis of short transcripts from a wide variety of mRNA and small nuclear RNA (snRNA) promoters, including the U6 RNA polymerase III promoter. This inducer of short transcripts (IST) is located between positions -5 and +82 relative to the cap site in the HIV-1 LTR. In the presence of IST, the total transcriptional activity of the different promoters is greatly increased, but the resulting additional RNA molecules are short, ending around position +60. IST is not the RNA target (TAR) for Tat trans-activation; however, because it relies entirely on cellular factors for activity, IST may serve to provide abundant RNA targets for Tat trans-activation without a requirement for full-length viral mRNA expression.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology
- TAR element
- Tat trans-activation
- short transcripts