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Help on HIV proteins - vif, vpr, vpu

David N. Levy David_Levy at DFCI.harvard.edu
Thu Jul 6 12:52:04 EST 1995

In article <p_travers-0207951438010001 at macmhc.cryst.bbk.ac.uk>
p_travers at icrf.icnet.uk (Paul J Travers) writes:

> Can anyone tell me what the HIV proteins vif, vpr and vpu actually do?  Or
> point me at the relevant literature.  I really need a relatively simple
> explanation - it's for a textbook for medical students :-)

As far as vpr is concerned, check out these articles:

Heinzinger et al. (1994) PNAS 91:7311

Rogel, Wu and Emerman, (1995) Journal of Virology 69:882

Levy, D. N., Fernandes, L. S., Williams, W. V. and Weiner, D. B.
(1993). Induction of cell differentiation by human immunodeficiency
virus 1 vpr.  Cell 72:541-550.

Levy, D. N., Refaeli, Y., and Weiner, D. B. (1994). Serum vpr regulates
productive infection and latency of human immunodeficiency virus type
1. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.  91:10873-10877.

Levy, D. N., Refaeli, Y., and Weiner, D. B. (1995).  Extracellular vpr
protein increases cellular permissiveness to human immunodeficiency
virus type 1 replication and reactivates virus from latency.  J. Virol.

Refaeli, Y., Levy, D. N., and Weiner, D. B. (1995).  The glucocorticoid
receptor type II complex is a target of the HIV-1 vpr gene product. 
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.  92:321-3625.

In short, vpr prevents cell cycle progression, can induce cell
differentiation and cause gross cytoskeletal changes as well as great
enlargement in many mammalian and also yeast cells.  Vpr protein
potentiates HIV replication and reactivates quiescent (latent)
integrated provirus. Vpr assists migration of the preintegration
complex to the cell nucleus and it interacts with the cell's
glucocorticoid receptor system.

David N. Levy, Ph.D.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Boston, MA

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