Stability of HIV-1 subtype B and C Tat is associated with variation in the carboxyl-terminal region
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The multifunctional trans-activator Tat is an essential regulatory protein for HIV-1 replication and is characterized by high sequence diversity. Numerous experimental studies have examined Tat in HIV-1 subtype B, but research on subtype C Tat is lacking, despite the high prevalence of infections caused by subtype C worldwide. We hypothesized that amino acid differences contribute to functional differences among Tat proteins. In the present study, we found that subtype B NL4-3 Tat and subtype C isolate HIV1084i Tat exhibited differences in stability by overexpressing the fusion protein Tat-Flag. In addition, 1084i Tat can activate LTR and NF-κB more efficiently than NL4-3 Tat. In analyses of the activities of the truncated forms of Tat, we found that the carboxyl-terminal region of Tat regulates its stability and transactivity. According to our results, we speculated that the differences in stability between B-Tat and C-Tat result in differences in transactivation ability.
KeywordsTat subtype B/C stability transactivation carboxyl-terminal region NF-κB activation
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