Transcriptional cyclin-dependent kinases play important roles in eukaryotic gene expression. CDK7, CDK9 (P-TEFb), and CDK13 are also critical for HIV replication. However, the function of CDK11 remained enigmatic. In this report, we determined that CDK11 regulates the cleavage and polyadenylation (CPA) of all viral transcripts. CDK11 was found associated with the TREX/THOC, which recruited this kinase to DNA. Once at the viral genome, CDK11 phosphorylated serines at position 2 in the CTD of RNAPII, which increased levels of CPA factors at the HIV 3' end. In its absence, cleavage of viral transcripts was greatly attenuated. In contrast, higher levels of CDK11 increased the length of HIV poly(A) tails and the stability of mature viral transcripts. We conclude that CDK11 plays a critical role for the cotranscriptional processing of all HIV mRNA species.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.