The nuclear diffusion inhibitory signal (NIS) is a 15-amino acid peptide motif (10-24; EDLLKAVRLIKFLYQ) in the N-terminus of the HIV-1 Rev protein. NIS appears to be involved in maintaining the proper nucleocytoplasmic trafficking and intracellular stability of HIV-1 Rev. Deletion in NIS leads to Rev functional inactivity, and these data led to further investigation of its possible inhibitory effects on Rev function. An HIV-1 proviral rescue assay was utilized to evaluate Rev function. The association between wild-type Rev molecules, or wild-type Rev with Revd23, an NIS mutant, plus Rev-responsive element (RRE) interactions in cultured cells were also evaluated. Revd23 showed a potent trans-dominant negative phenotype, while multimerization with wild-type Rev and Revd23-RRE binding in cells were found to reveal no significant changes from wild-type. These results suggest that the potential trans-dominance mechanism of Revd23 may differ from that of a Rev construct, RevM10, with mutations in the C-terminus nuclear export signal (NES). As such, these data will be useful in the rational design of novel antiretroviral approaches targeting HIV-1 Rev.
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