Rev binds specifically to a purine loop in the SL1 region of the HIV-1 leader RNA.
Gallego J., Greatorex J., Zhang H., Yang B., Arunachalam S., Fang J., Seamons J., Lea S., Pomerantz RJ., Lever AM.
The leader RNA sequence of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) consists of a complex series of stem loop structures that are critical for viral replication. Three-dimensional structural analysis by NMR of one of these structures, the SL1 stem loop of the packaging signal region, revealed a highly conserved purine rich loop with a structure nearly identical to the Rev-binding loop of the Rev response element. Using band-shift assays, surface plasmon resonance, and further NMR analysis, we demonstrate that this loop binds Rev. HIV-1 appears to have a second Rev-binding site close to the major splice donor site that may have an additional role in the viral life cycle.