Jiwei Li,Xiangmin Zhang,Bowen Bai,Mengmeng Zhang,Weiwei Ma,Yuezhi Lin,Xiaojun Wang,Xue-Feng Wang
J Virol.2022 Nov 30;e0121022.doi: 10.1128/jvi.01210-22. Online ahead of print.
All lentiviruses encode a post-transcriptional transactivator, Rev, which mediates the export of viral mRNA from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and which is required for viral gene expression and viral replication. In the current study, we demonstrate that equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV), an equine lentivirus, encodes a second post-transcriptional transactivator that we designate Grev. Grev is encoded by a novel transcript with a single splicing event that was identified using reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and RNA-seq in EIAV-infected horse tissues and cells. Grev is about 18 kDa in size, comprises the first 18 amino acids (aa) of Gag protein together with the last 82 aa of Rev, and was detected in EIAV-infected cells. Similar to Rev, Grev is localized to the nucleus, and both are able to mediate the expression of Mat (a recently identified viral protein of unknown function from EIAV), but Rev can mediate the expression of EIAV Gag/Pol, while Grev cannot. We also demonstrate that Grev, similar to Rev, specifically binds to rev-responsive element 2 (RRE-2, located in the first exon of mat mRNAs) to promote nuclear export of mat mRNA via the chromosome region maintenance 1 (CRM1) pathway. However, unlike Rev, whose function depends on its multimerization, we could not detect multimerization of Grev using coimmunoprecipitation (co-IP) or bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assays. Together, these data suggest that EIAV encodes two post-transcriptional transactivators, Rev and Grev, with similar, but not identical, functions. IMPORTANCE Nuclear export of viral transcripts is a crucial step for viral gene expression and viral replication in lentiviruses, and this export is regulated by a post-transcriptional transactivator, Rev, that is shared by all lentiviruses. Here, we report that the equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) encodes a novel viral protein, Grev, and demonstrated that Grev, like Rev, mediates the expression of the viral protein Mat by binding to the first exon of mat mRNAs via the chromosome region maintenance 1 (CRM1) pathway. Grev is encoded by a single-spliced transcript containing two exons, whereas Rev is encoded by a multiple-spliced transcript containing four exons. Moreover, Rev is able to mediate EIAV Gag/Pol expression by binding to rev-responsive element (RRE) located within the Env-coding region, while Grev cannot. Therefore, the present study demonstrates that EIAV encodes two post-transcriptional regulators, Grev and Rev, suggesting that post-transcriptional regulation patterns in lentivirus are diverse and complex.
Keywords: Grev; Rev; equine infectious anemia virus; lentiviruses; post-transcriptional transactivator; transcript.