In addition to facilitating the nuclear export of incompletely spliced viral mRNAs, equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) Rev regulates alternative splicing of the third exon of the tat/rev mRNA. In the presence of Rev, this exon of the bicistronic RNA is skipped in a fraction of the spliced mRNAs. In this report, the cis-acting requirements for exon 3 usage were correlated with sequences necessary for Rev binding and transport of incompletely spliced RNA. The presence of a purine-rich exon splicing enhancer (ESE) was required for exon 3 recognition, and the addition of Rev inhibited exon 3 splicing. Glutathione-S-transferase (GST)-Rev bound to probes containing the ESE, and mutation of GAA repeats to GCA within the ESE inhibited both exon 3 recognition in RNA splicing experiments and GST-Rev binding in vitro. These results suggest that Rev regulates alternative splicing by binding at or near the ESE to block SR protein-ESE interactions. A 57-nucleotide sequence containing the ESE was sufficient to mediate Rev-dependent nuclear export of incompletely spliced RNAs. Rev export activity was significantly inhibited by mutation of the ESE or by trans-complementation with SF2/ASF. These results indicate that the ESE functions as a Rev-responsive element and demonstrate that EIAV Rev mediates exon 3 exclusion through protein-RNA interactions required for efficient export of incompletely spliced viral RNAs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology