The mutation T477A in HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) restores normal proteolytic processing of RT in virus with Gag-Pol mutated in the p51-RNH cleavage site.


The p51 subunit of the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) p66/p51 heterodimer arises from proteolytic cleavage of the RT p66 subunit C-terminal ribonuclease H (RNH) domain during virus maturation. Our previous work showed that mutations in the RT p51 downward arrowRNH cleavage site resulted in virus with defects in proteolytic processing of RT and significantly attenuated infectivity. In some cases, virus fitness was restored after repeated passage of mutant viruses, due to reversion of the mutated sequences to wild-type. However, in one case, the recovered virus retained the mutated p51 downward arrowRNH cleavage site but also developed an additional mutation, T477A, distal to the cleavage site. In this study we have characterized in detail the impact of the T477A mutation on intravirion processing of RT.




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