The origin of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 rev gene. An evolutionary hypothesis

Satoshi Kubota, Stephen Oroszlan, Masakazu Hatanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The Rev protein of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 is an RNA-binding posttranscriptional transregulator encoded by an accessory gene that is distinct from retroviral oncogenes and whose origin is unclear. We hypothesize that the rev gene was generated by duplication of a viral RNA segment having a secondary-structure that evolved into the Rev-responsive element (RRE). This hypothesis is based on the following findings. First, accumulated data on functional mapping of Rev, Tat, and the transmembrane protein of Env suggested that the major coding exon of rev should have been inserted into the transmembrane region of env during the course of its evolution. Experiments with equine infectious anemia virus, another complex retrovirus, also indicate that a large portion of rev is located within the dispensable transmembrane region of env. Second, base usage analysis suggests the same origin for rev and RRE. Our hypothesis may provide a new insight into the evolutionary aspect of RNA0binding transactivators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-121
Number of pages4
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 31 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV-1
  • RNA binding protein
  • Rev protein
  • lentivirida

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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