Inhibition of HIV-1 replication by a Tat RNA-binding domain peptide analog

Indrani Choudhury, Jihong Wang, Arnold B. Rabson, Steven Stein, Shahriar Pooyan, Stanley Stein, Michael J Leibowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The peptidic compound, N-acetyl-Arg-Lys-Lys-Arg-Arg-Gln-Arg-Arg-Arg- Cys(biotin)-NH2 (Tat10-biotin), contains the 9-amino acid sequence from the basic domain of the Tat protein responsible for specific interaction with TAR RNA. The cysteine residue provides an attachment site for biotin, which acts as a cellular uptake enhancer. Tat10-biotin binds a fragment of TAR RNA (ΔTAR) avidly and specifically, as measured in an electrophoretic gel shift assay. Tat10-biotin inhibited tat gene-induced expression of a stably transfected chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) reporter gene linked to the HIV-1 long terminal repeat (LTR) in a model cell assay, but did not inhibit phorbol ester-induced expression of CAT, thereby demonstrating a Tat- dependent mechanism of inhibition. Inhibition of HIV-1 replication after acute infection of MT2 cells was demonstrated by absence of HIV-induced syncytium formation and cytotoxicity, as well as by suppression of reverse transcriptase production. These results suggest that a peptide or peptide mimetic capable of competing with the TAR RNA-binding domain of Tat protein might be useful as a therapeutic agent for AIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Biotin
  • HIV-1 inhibition
  • TAR
  • Tat
  • Tat mimic
  • Therapeutic agent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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