Chemistry Department Seminar: Karin Musier-Forsyth

3 May 2022

presents “How a two-nucleotide difference in a 9.4 kilobase genome dictates HIV-1 genomic RNA packaging” on Friday, May 6th, 2022 at 3:30 PM in Anderson 329.

HIV-1 must select and package its RNA genome from an abundant pool of cellular RNAs. To understand this essential replication step, we studied two nearly identical HIV-1 RNAs that are differentially encapsidated. HIV-1 RNA with one 5’ guanosine (1G RNA) is enriched in virions, whereas RNA with three 5’ guanosines (3G RNA) is largely excluded. We observed that 1G RNA, but not 3G RNA, mainly folds into structures that expose elements important for RNA:RNA and RNA:Gag interactions. We also identified mutants in which 1G and 3G RNAs fold into similar structures, resulting in efficient packaging of 3G RNA. Thus, HIV-1 selects its viral genome based on its capacity to adopt structures that facilitate RNA dimerization and Gag binding.

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Meeting ID: 986 1353 0769 
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