Productive replication of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) occurs efficiently only in humans. The posttranscriptional stages of the HIV-1 life cycle proceed poorly in mouse cells, with a resulting defect in viral assembly and release. Previous work has shown that the presence of human chromosome 2 increases HIV-1 production in mouse cells. Recent studies have shown that human chromosome region maintenance 1 (hCRM1) stimulates Gag release from rodent cells. Here we report that expressions of hCRM1 in murine cells resulted in marked increases in the production of infectious HIV-1 and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). HIV-1 production was also increased by hSRp40, and a combination of hCRM1 and hSRp40 resulted in a more-than-additive effect on HIV-1 release. In contrast, the overexpression of mouse CRM1 (mCRM1) minimally affected HIV-1 and FIV production and did not antagonize hCRM1. In the presence of hCRM1 there were large increases in the amounts of released capsid, which paralleled the increases in the infectious titers. Consistent with this finding, the ratios of unspliced to spliced HIV-1 mRNAs in mouse cells expressing hCRM1 and SRp40 became similar to those of human cells. Furthermore, imaging of intron-containing FIV RNA showed that hCRM1 increased RNA export to the cytoplasm. By testing chimeras between mCRM1 and hCRM1 and comparing those sequences to feline CRM1, we mapped the functional domain to HEAT (Huntingtin, elongation factor 3, protein phosphatase 2A, and the yeast kinase TOR1) repeats 4A to 9A and a triple point mutant in repeat 9A, which showed a loss of function. Structural analysis suggested that this region of hCRM1 may serve as a binding site for viral or cellular factors to facilitate lentiviral RNA nuclear export.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science