The trans-activator gene of the human T cell lymphotropic virus type III is required for replication

Cell. 1986 Mar 28;44(6):941-7. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(86)90017-6.


The trans-activator gene (tat-III) of the human T lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III/LAV) is shown to regulate positively the expression of viral proteins. Viruses in which the tat-III gene is deleted are incapable of prolific replication and do not demonstrate cytopathic effects in T4+ cell lines. These defects can be fully complemented in cell lines that constitutively express the tat-III gene product. We conclude that the tat-III gene product is required for efficient replication of HTLV-III in T4+ cells, and for that reason is important for the cytopathic effects of virus infection. These observations predict that inhibitors of the tat-III gene product may constitute effective therapeutic agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetyltransferases / genetics
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral
  • Deltaretrovirus / genetics*
  • Deltaretrovirus / pathogenicity
  • Genes, Viral*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / analysis
  • Retroviridae Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Transfection
  • Viral Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Virus Replication*


  • Retroviridae Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • Acetyltransferases
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase
  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/K03455