Five regions of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) long terminal repeat (LTR) have been shown to be important in the transcriptional regulation of HIV in HeLa cells. These include the negative regulatory, enhancer, SP1, TATA, and TAR regions. Previous studies in which purified SP1 was used showed that the three SP1-binding sites in the HIV LTR were important in the in vitro transcription of this promoter. However, no studies to ascertain the role of each of these SP1-binding sites in basal and tat-induced transcriptional activation in vivo have been reported. To determine the role of SP1 sites in transcriptional regulation of the HIV LTR in vivo, these sites were subjected to oligonucleotide mutagenesis both individually and in groups. The constructs were tested by DNase I footprinting with both oligonucleotide affinity column-purified SP1 and partially purified HeLa extract and by chloramphenicol acetyltransferase assays in both the presence and absence of the tat gene. Mutagenesis of each SP1-binding site resulted in minimal changes in basal and tat-induced transcriptional activation. Mutations involving alterations of SP1 sites I and II, I and III, or II and III also resulted in minimal decreases in basal and tat-induced transcriptional activation. However, mutagenesis of all three SP1-binding sites resulted in a marked decrease in tat induction. The latter mutation also greatly decreased DNase I protection over the enhancer, TATA, and TAR regions when partially purified HeLa nuclear extract was used. Mutagenesis of the HIV LTR SP1 sites which converted them to consensus high-affinity SP1-binding sites with the sequence GGGGCGGGGC resulted in increased tat-induced gene expression compared with the wild-type HIV LTR template. These results suggest that SP1, through its interaction with other DNA-binding proteins, is critical for in vivo transcriptional regulation of HIV.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science