Stable expression of primary human immunodeficiency virus type 1 structural gene products by use of a noncytopathic sindbis virus vector

Wei Kong, Chunjuan Tian, Bindong Liu, Xiao Fang Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Efficient expression of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) structural gene products Gag, Pol, and Env involves the regulation by viral Rev and Rev-responsive elements (RRE). Removal of multiple inhibitory sequences (INS) in the coding regions of these structural genes or modification of the codon usage patterns of HIV-1 genes to those used by highly expressed human genes has been found to significantly increase HIV-1 structural protein expression in the absence of Rev and RRE. In this study, we show that efficient and stable expression of the HIV-1 structural gene products Gag and Env could be achieved by transfection with a noncytopathic Sindbis virus expression vector by using HIV-1 sequences from primary isolates without any sequence modification. Stable expression of these Gag and Env proteins was observed for more than 12 months. The fact that the Sindbis virus expression vector replicates its RNA only in the cytoplasm of the transfected cells and the fact that the lack of expression of HIV-1 Gag by the DNA vector containing unmodified HIV-1 gag sequences was associated with a lack of detectable cytoplasmic gag RNA suggest that a major blockage in the expression of HIV-1 structural proteins in the absence of Rev/RRE is caused by inefficient accumulation of mRNA in the cytoplasm. Efficient long-term expression of structural proteins of diverse HIV-1 strains by the noncytopathic Sindbis virus expression system may be a useful tool for functional study of HIV-1 gene products and vaccine research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11434-11439
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of virology
Volume76
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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