Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

TAT Protein of HIV

  • Adriana Albini
  • Douglas Noonan
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_5681-2


Tat is a small viral protein that is encoded by the spliced two-exon tat gene in the HIV genome, responsible for transactivation of the HIV genome.


The HIV Tat protein gets its name from its principal activity; Tat stands for transactivator, which means that it binds to DNA and activates the transcription of DNA into RNA. The Tat protein has an important role in controlling the transcription of the lentivirus HIV genome from its built-in “promoter,” known as the long terminal repeat (which refers to its structure) or LTR, to make the RNA that forms new HIV virus particles. In addition to this major role, Tat has also been implicated in a wide variety of pathologies encountered in persons infected with HIV. How does this small (about 101 amino acids) Tat protein do this? Tat has a capacity to bind a striking number of different proteins, nucleic acids, and even polysaccharides. Studies on Tat indicate that it has a highly flexible structure, allowing binding...


Focal Adhesion Kinase Growth Factor VEGF Nucleic Acid Base Pair Binding Chemokine Receptor Dendritic Cell Phagocytosis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IRCCS MultimedicaMilanoItaly
  2. 2.University of InsubriaVareseItaly