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Nuclear Trafficking of Retroviral RNAs and Gag Proteins during Late Steps of Replication

Author(s): Matthew S. Stake | Darrin V. Bann | Rebecca J. Kaddis | Leslie J. Parent

Journal: Viruses
ISSN 1999-4915

Volume: 5;
Issue: 11;
Start page: 2767;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: nuclear entry | nuclear export | nucleocytoplasmic trafficking | virus assembly | viral RNA packaging | retroviral Gag protein | HIV-1 Rev protein | Rous sarcoma virus | retroviruses

Retroviruses exploit nuclear trafficking machinery at several distinct stages in their replication cycles. In this review, we will focus primarily on nucleocytoplasmic trafficking events that occur after the completion of reverse transcription and proviral integration. First, we will discuss nuclear export of unspliced viral RNA transcripts, which serves two essential roles: as the mRNA template for the translation of viral structural proteins and as the genome for encapsidation into virions. These full-length viral RNAs must overcome the cell’s quality control measures to leave the nucleus by co-opting host factors or encoding viral proteins to mediate nuclear export of unspliced viral RNAs. Next, we will summarize the most recent findings on the mechanisms of Gag nuclear trafficking and discuss potential roles for nuclear localization of Gag proteins in retrovirus replication.
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