Incorporation of Vpr into human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) virions is mediated by the Gag protein, independently of other vital components. We have coexpressed Vpr and Gag constructs in a vaccinia virus expression system in order to map the region of Gag involved in Vpr packaging. Deletion of the carboxyl-terminal p6 region of Gag impaired the ability of Gag to package Vpr. To confirm the role of p6 in Vpr packaging, Rous sarcoma virus (RSV)-HIV chimeras containing HIV-1 p6 were constructed. Although RSV Gag does not package Vpr into virus particles, a chimera containing HIV-1 p6 is sufficient for Vpr incorporation. To map the region of p6 involved in Vpr packaging, a series of p6 point mutations and deletion mutations was analyzed. Mutations in the N-terminal p6 proline-rich domain, for which preliminary evidence shows a marked decrease in virion incorporated RNA, did not affect Vpr incorporation. Deletion of residues 1 to 31 of HIV-1 p6 did not affect Vpr packaging, but residues 35 to 47, including an (LXX)4 domain, were required for Vpr incorporation into virus particles.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science