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Structure of the dimer a initiation complex of HIV-1 genomic RNA

Nature Structural Biology volume 5, pages 432436 (1998) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Retroviral genomes must dimerize to be fully infectious. Dimerization is directed by a unique RNA hairpin structure with a palindrome in its loop: hairpins of two strands first associate transiently through their loops, and then refold to a more stable, linear duplex. The structure of the initial, kissing-loop dimer from HIV-1, solved using 2D NMR, is bent and metastable, its interface being formed not only by standard basepairing between palindromes, but also by a distinctive pattern of interstrand stacking among bases at the stem-loop junctions. This creates mechanical distortions that partially melt both stems, which may facilitate spontaneous refolding of this RNA complex into linear form.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Pathology, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.

    • Anwer Mujeeb
    •  & Tristram G. Parslow
  2. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.

    • Anwer Mujeeb
    • , Jared L. Clever
    •  & Tristram G. Parslow
  3. Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.

    • Todd M. Billeci
    •  & Thomas L. James

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Correspondence to Tristram G. Parslow.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nsb0698-432

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