Stimulation of Tat-associated kinase-independent transcriptional elongation from the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 long terminal repeat by a cellular enhancer.
The human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) long terminal repeat (LTR) initiates transcription efficiently but produces only short transcripts in the absence of the trans-activator protein, Tat. To determine whether a cellular enhancer could provide the signals required to recruit an elongation-competent polymerase to the HIV-1 LTR, the B cell-specific immunoglobulin heavy chain gene enhancer (IgHE) was inserted upstream of the LTR. The enhancer increased transcription in the absence of Tat between 6- and 7-fold in transfected B cells, but the full-length transcripts remained at basal levels in HeLa cells, where the enhancer is inactive. RNase-protection studies showed that initiation levels in the presence and absence of the enhancer were constant, but the enhancer significantly increased the elongation capacity of the polymerases. Tat-stimulated elongation is strongly inhibited by the nucleoside analogue 5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole (DRB), which inhibits the Tat-associated kinase, TAK (CDK9). However, polymerases initiating transcription from LTRs carrying the enhancer were able to efficiently elongate in the presence of DRB. Specific repression of TAK by expression in trans of the CDK9 kinase also inhibited Tat-stimulated elongation but did not inhibit enhancer-dependent transcription significantly. Thus, the activation of polymerase processivity by the IgHE involves a unique mechanism which is independent of TAK. (+info)
Tat-associated kinase (P-TEFb): a component of transcription preinitiation and elongation complexes.
Human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1) Tat protein activates transcription from the HIV-1 long terminal repeat. Tat interacts with TFIIH and Tat-associated kinase (a transcription elongation factor P-TEFb) and requires the carboxyl-terminal domain of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (pol II) for transactivation. We developed a stepwise RNA pol II walking approach and used Western blotting to determine the role of TFIIH and P-TEFb in HIV-1 transcription elongation. Our results demonstrate the new findings that P-TEFb is a component of the preinitiation complex and travels with the elongating RNA pol II, whereas TFIIH is released from the elongation complexes before the trans-activation responsive region RNA is synthesized. Our results suggest that TFIIH and P-TEFb are involved in the clearance of promoter-proximal pausing of RNA pol II on the HIV-1 long terminal repeat at different stages. (+info)
Specific interaction of Tat with the human but not rodent P-TEFb complex mediates the species-specific Tat activation of HIV-1 transcription.
Tat stimulation of HIV-1 transcriptional elongation is species-specific and is believed to require a specific cellular cofactor present in many human and primate cells but not in nonpermissive rodent cells. Human P-TEFb, composed of Cdk9 and cyclin T1, is a general transcription elongation factor that phosphorylates the C-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II. Previous studies have also implicated P-TEFb as a Tat-specific cellular cofactor and, in particular, human cyclin T1 as responsible for the species-specific Tat activation. To obtain functional evidence in support of these hypotheses, we generated and examined the activities of human-rodent "hybrid" P-TEFb complexes. We found that P-TEFb complexes containing human cyclin T1 complexed with either human or rodent Cdk9 supported Tat transactivation and interacted with the Tat activation domain and the HIV-1 TAR RNA element to form TAR loop-dependent ribonucleoprotein complexes. Although a stable complex containing rodent cyclin T1 and human Cdk9 was capable of phosphorylating CTD and mediating basal HIV-1 elongation, it failed to interact with Tat and to mediate Tat transactivation, indicating that the abilities of P-TEFb to support basal elongation and Tat activation can be separated. Together, our data indicated that the specific interaction of human P-TEFb with Tat/TAR, mostly through cyclin T1, is crucial for P-TEFb to mediate a Tat-specific and species-restricted activation of HIV-1 transcription. Amino acid residues unique to human Cdk9 also contributed partially to the formation of the P-TEFb-Tat-TAR complex. Moreover, the cyclin box of cyclin T1 and its immediate flanking region are largely responsible for the specific P-TEFb-Tat interaction. (+info)
Tat activates human immunodeficiency virus type 1 transcriptional elongation independent of TFIIH kinase.
Tat stimulates human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transcriptional elongation by recruitment of the human transcription elongation factor P-TEFb, consisting of Cdk9 and cyclin T1, to the HIV-1 promoter via cooperative binding to the nascent HIV-1 transactivation response RNA element. The Cdk9 kinase activity has been shown to be essential for P-TEFb to hyperphosphorylate the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II and mediate Tat transactivation. Recent reports have shown that Tat can also interact with the multisubunit transcription factor TFIIH complex and increase the phosphorylation of CTD by the Cdk-activating kinase (CAK) complex associated with the core TFIIH. These observations have led to the proposal that TFIIH and P-TEFb may act sequentially and in a concerted manner to promote phosphorylation of CTD and increase polymerase processivity. Here, we show that under conditions in which a specific and efficient interaction between Tat and P-TEFb is observed, only a weak interaction between Tat and TFIIH that is independent of critical amino acid residues in the Tat transactivation domain can be detected. Furthermore, immunodepletion of CAK under high-salt conditions, which allow CAK to be dissociated from core-TFIIH, has no effect on either basal HIV-1 transcription or Tat activation of polymerase elongation in vitro. Therefore, unlike the P-TEFb kinase activity that is essential for Tat activation of HIV-1 transcriptional elongation, the CAK kinase associated with TFIIH appears to be dispensable for Tat function. (+info)
NELF, a multisubunit complex containing RD, cooperates with DSIF to repress RNA polymerase II elongation.
DRB is a classic inhibitor of transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II (pol II). Since DRB generally affects class II genes, factors involved in this process must play fundamental roles in pol II elongation. Recently, two elongation factors essential for DRB action were identified, namely DSIF and P-TEFb. Here we describe the identification and purification from HeLa nuclear extract of a third protein factor required for DRB-sensitive transcription. This factor, termed negative elongation factor (NELF), cooperates with DSIF and strongly represses pol II elongation. This repression is reversed by P-TEFb-dependent phosphorylation of the pol II C-terminal domain. NELF is composed of five polypeptides, the smallest of which is identical to RD, a putative RNA-binding protein of unknown function. This study reveals a molecular mechanism for DRB action and a regulatory network of positive and negative elongation factors. (+info)
Human and rodent transcription elongation factor P-TEFb: interactions with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 tat and carboxy-terminal domain substrate.
The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 transcriptional regulator Tat increases the efficiency of elongation, and complexes containing the cellular kinase CDK9 have been implicated in this process. CDK9 is part of the Tat-associated kinase TAK and of the elongation factor P-TEFb (positive transcription elongation factor-b), which consists minimally of CDK9 and cyclin T. TAK and P-TEFb are both able to phosphorylate the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II, but their relationships to one another and to the stimulation of elongation by Tat are not well characterized. Here we demonstrate that human cyclin T1 (but not cyclin T2) interacts with the activation domain of Tat and is a component of TAK as well as of P-TEFb. Rodent (mouse and Chinese hamster) cyclin T1 is defective in Tat binding and transactivation, but hamster CDK9 interacts with human cyclin T1 to give active TAK in hybrid cells containing human chromosome 12. Although TAK is phosphorylated on both serine and threonine residues, it specifically phosphorylates serine 5 in the CTD heptamer. TAK is found in the nuclear and cytoplasmic fractions of human cells as a large complex (approximately 950 kDa). Magnesium or zinc ions are required for the association of Tat with the kinase. We suggest a model in which Tat first interacts with P-TEFb to form the TAK complex that engages with TAR RNA and the elongating transcription complex, resulting in hyperphosphorylation of the CTD on serine 5 residues. (+info)
Host-cell positive transcription elongation factor b kinase activity is essential and limiting for HIV type 1 replication.
HIV-1 gene expression and viral replication require the viral transactivator protein Tat. The RNA polymerase II transcriptional elongation factor P-TEFb (cyclin-dependent kinase 9/cyclin T) is a cellular protein kinase that has recently been shown to be a key component of the Tat-transactivation process. For this report, we studied the requirement for P-TEFb in HIV-1 infection, and we now show that P-TEFb is both essential and limiting for HIV-1 replication. Attenuation of P-TEFb kinase activity either by expression of a dominant-negative cyclin-dependent kinase 9 transgene or through the use of small-molecule inhibitors suppresses HIV-1 gene expression and HIV-1 replication. Inhibition of HIV-1 replication is affected in a manner consistent with a direct and specific effect on P-TEFb and the known functional role of P-TEFb in Tat-activated transcription. Tat-activated expression of HIV-1 genes seems uniquely dependent on P-TEFb, as inhibition of P-TEFb activity and HIV-1 replication can be achieved without compromising cell viability or RNA polymerase II-dependent cellular gene transcription. Selective inhibition of the P-TEFb kinase may therefore provide a novel approach for developing chemotherapeutic agents against HIV-1. (+info)
Recruitment of cyclin T1/P-TEFb to an HIV type 1 long terminal repeat promoter proximal RNA target is both necessary and sufficient for full activation of transcription.
Transcriptional activation of the HIV type 1 (HIV-1) long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter element by the viral Tat protein is an essential step in the HIV-1 life cycle. Tat function is mediated by the TAR RNA target element encoded within the LTR and is known to require the recruitment of a complex consisting of Tat and the cyclin T1 (CycT1) component of positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) to TAR. Here, we demonstrate that both TAR and Tat become entirely dispensable for activation of the HIV-1 LTR promoter when CycT1/P-TEFb is artificially recruited to a heterologous promoter proximal RNA target. The level of activation observed was indistinguishable from the level induced by Tat and was neither inhibited nor increased when Tat was expressed in trans. Activation by artificially recruited CycT1 depended on the ability to bind the CDK9 component of P-TEFb. In contrast, although binding to both Tat and TAR was essential for the ability of CycT1 to act as a Tat cofactor, these interactions became dispensable when CycT1 was directly recruited to the LTR. Importantly, activation of the LTR both by Tat and by directly recruited CycT1 was found to be at the level of transcription elongation. Together, these data demonstrate that recruitment of CycT1/P-TEFb to the HIV-1 LTR is fully sufficient to activate this promoter element and imply that the sole role of the Tat/TAR axis in viral transcription is to permit the recruitment of CycT1/P-TEFb. (+info)