HIV-1 Modulates the tRNA Pool to Improve Translation Efficiency

Title: HIV-1 Modulates the tRNA Pool to Improve Translation Efficiency
Authors: van Weringh, Anna
Ragonnet-Cronin, Manon
Pranckeviciene, Erinija
Pavon-Eternod, Mariana
Kleiman, Lawrence
Xia, Xuhua
Date: 2011-05-25
Abstract: Despite its poorly adapted codon usage, HIV-1 replicates and is expressed extremely well in human host cells. HIV-1 has recently been shown to package non-lysyl tRNAs in addition to the tRNALys needed for priming reverse-transcription and integration of the HIV-1 genome. By comparing the codon usage of HIV-1 genes with that of its human host, we found that tRNAs decoding codons which are highly used by HIV-1 but avoided by its host are overrepresented in HIV-1 virions. In particular, tRNAs decoding A-ending codons, required for the expression of HIV's A-rich genome, are highly enriched. Because the affinity of Gag-Pol for all tRNAs is non-specific, HIV packaging is most likely passive and reflects the tRNA pool at the time of viral particle formation. Codon usage of HIV-1 early genes is similar to that of highly expressed host genes, but codon usage of HIV-1 late genes were better adapted to the selectively enriched tRNA pool, suggesting that alterations in the tRNA pool are induced late in viral infection. If HIV-1 genes are adapting to an altered tRNA pool, codon adaptation of HIV-1 may be better than previously thought.
DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msr005
CollectionBiologie // Biology
Publications en libre accès financées par uOttawa // uOttawa financed open access publications