Different effects of the TAR structure on HIV-1 and HIV-2 genomic RNA translation

Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Mar;40(6):2653-67. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr1093. Epub 2011 Nov 24.


The 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) of the genomic RNA of human immunodeficiency viruses type-1 (HIV-1) and type-2 (HIV-2) is composed of highly structured RNA motifs essential for viral replication that are expected to interfere with Gag and Gag-Pol translation. Here, we have analyzed and compared the properties by which the viral 5'-UTR drives translation from the genomic RNA of both human immunodeficiency viruses. Our results showed that translation from the HIV-2 gRNA was very poor compared to that of HIV-1. This was rather due to the intrinsic structural motifs in their respective 5'-UTR without involvement of any viral protein. Further investigation pointed to a different role of TAR RNA, which was much inhibitory for HIV-2 translation. Altogether, these data highlight important structural and functional differences between these two human pathogens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5' Untranslated Regions*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Genome, Viral
  • HIV Long Terminal Repeat*
  • HIV-1 / genetics*
  • HIV-2 / genetics*
  • HIV-2 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Proviruses / genetics
  • Proviruses / metabolism
  • RNA, Viral / chemistry*
  • Ribosomes / metabolism
  • gag Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus / biosynthesis
  • gag Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus / genetics


  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • RNA, Viral
  • gag Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus