Changes in the mechanism of DNA integration in vitro induced by base substitutions in the HIV-1 U5 and U3 terminal sequences

Elena Brin, Jonathan Leis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We have reconstituted concerted human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) integration with specially designed mini-donor DNA, a supercoiled plasmid acceptor, purified bacterial-derived HIV-1 integrase (IN), and host HMG-I(Y) protein (Hindmarsh, P., Ridky, T., Reeves, R., Andrake, M., Skalka, A. M., and Leis, J. (1999) J. Virol. 73, 2994-3003). Integration in this system is dependent upon the mini donor DNA having IN recognition sequences at both ends and the reaction products have all of the features associated with integration of viral DNA in vivo. Using this system, we explored the relationship between the HIV-1 U3 and U5 IN recognition sequences by analyzing substrates that contain either two U3 or two U5 terminal sequences. Both substrates caused severe defects to integration but with different effects on the mechanism indicating that the U3 and the U5 sequences are both required for concerted DNA integration. We have also used the reconstituted system to compare the mechanism of integration catalyzed by HIV-1 to that of avian sarcoma virus by analyzing the effect of defined mutations introduced into U3 or U5 ends of the respective wild type DNA substrates. Despite sequence differences between avian sarcoma virus and HIV-1 IN and their recognition sequences, the consequences of analogous base pair substitutions at the same relative positions of the respective IN recognition sequences were very similar. This highlights the common mechanism of integration shared by these two different viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10938-10948
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 29 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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