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The nucleocapsid (NC) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 consists of a large number of NC protein molecules, probably wrapping the dimeric RNA genome within the virion inner core. NC protein is a gag-encoded product that contains two zinc fingers flanked by basic residues. In human immunodeficiency virus type 1 virions, NCp15 is ultimately processed(More)
The retroviral genome consists of two identical RNA molecules joined at their 5' ends by the Dimer Linkage Structure (DLS). To study the mechanism of dimerization and the DLS of HIV-1 RNA, large amounts of bona fide HIV-1 RNA and of mutants have been synthesized in vitro. We report that HIV-1 RNA forms dimeric molecules and that viral nucleocapsid (NC)(More)
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are fatal neurodegenerative diseases associated with the accumulation of a protease-resistant form of the prion protein (PrP). Although PrP is conserved in vertebrates, its function remains to be identified. In vitro PrP binds large nucleic acids causing the formation of nucleoprotein complexes resembling human(More)
The fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of inherited mental retardation resulting from the absence of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). FMRP contains two K-homology (KH) domains and one RGG box that are landmarks characteristic of RNA-binding proteins. In agreement with this, FMRP associates with messenger ribonucleoparticles (mRNPs)(More)
RNA chaperone proteins are essential partners of RNA in living organisms and viruses. They are thought to assist in the correct folding and structural rearrangements of RNA molecules by resolving misfolded RNA species in an ATP-independent manner. RNA chaperoning is probably an entropy-driven process, mediated by the coupled binding and folding of(More)
L1 retrotransposons have a prominent role in reshaping mammalian genomes. To replicate, the L1 ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP) first uses its endonuclease (EN) to nick the genomic DNA. The newly generated DNA end is subsequently used as a primer to initiate reverse transcription within the L1 RNA poly(A) tail, a process known as target-primed reverse(More)
Shifts between epigenetic states of transcriptional activity are typically correlated with changes in epigenetic marks. However, exceptions to this rule suggest the existence of additional, as yet uncharacterized, layers of epigenetic regulation. MOM1, a protein of 2,001 amino acids that acts as a transcriptional silencer, represents such an exception. Here(More)
Retroviral genomes consist of two identical RNA molecules joined noncovalently near their 5'-ends. Recently, two models have been proposed for RNA dimer formation on the basis of results obtained in vitro with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 RNA and Moloney murine leukemia virus RNA. It was first proposed that viral RNA dimerizes by forming an(More)
The function of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) remains obscure. Studies suggest that PrPC functions in several processes including signal transduction and Cu2+ metabolism. PrPC has also been established to bind nucleic acids. Therefore we investigated the properties of PrPC as a putative nucleic acid chaperone. Surprisingly, PrPC possesses all the(More)
Retrovirus virions carry a diploid genome associated with a large number of small viral finger protein molecules which are required for encapsidation. Our present results show that finger protein p12 of Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) and p10 of murine leukaemia virus (MuLV) positions replication primer tRNA on the replication initiation site (PBS) at the 5' end(More)