HIV-1 Tat interacts with LIS1 protein

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Background: HIV-1 Tat activates transcription of HIV-1 viral genes by inducing phosphorylation of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII). Tat can also disturb cellular metabolism by inhibiting proliferation of antigen-specific T lymphocytes and by inducing cellular apoptosis. Tat-induced apoptosis of T-cells is attributed, in part, to the distortion of microtubules polymerization. LIS1 is a microtubule-associated protein that facilitates microtubule polymerization. Results: We identified here LIS1 as a Tat-interacting protein during extensive biochemical fractionation of T-cell extracts. We found several proteins to co-purify with a Tat-associated RNAPII CTD kinase activity including LIS1, CDK7, cyclin H, and MAT1. Tat interacted with LIS1 but not with CDK7, cyclin H or MAT1 in vitro. LIS1 also co-immunoprecipitated with Tat expressed in HeLa cells. Further, LIS1 interacted with Tat in a yeast two-hybrid system. Conclusion: Our results indicate that Tat interacts with LIS1 in vitro and in vivo and that this interaction might contribute to the effect of Tat on microtubule formation. © 2005 Epie et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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