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A little question about an idea

Tue Oct 11 20:17:18 EST 1994

In reply to article <1994Oct10.113603.74469 at kuhub.cc.ukans.edu> 
mcginnis at kuhub.cc.ukans.ed
u (Michael McGinnis)

>Manufacture a little retrovirus.  It has RNA coding for a cell surface
>protein that will trigger an immune response.  But, the retrovirus has
>no code for reverse transcriptase and so cannot become active on 
>its own.

Michael Poidinger <mikep at uniwa.uwa.edu.au>  wrote:
:aieee!  Nope, have to stop you right there.  reverse trancriptase (RT) is the 
:enzyme responsible for turning the RNA retrovirus into an integrated DNA copy. 
: The enzyme you probably want to kill is rev or a related control protein that 
:determines whether the virus is sitting dociley in the cell or replicating and 
:killing it.

Retroviral particles contain reverse transcriptase enzyme molecules.  Thus the 
RNA encapsidated in these particles does not need to have the gene for a reverse 
transcriptase in order to be copied into DNA.  Retroviruses such as those 
described can probably be made using helper cells.  The helper cells contain an 
integrated copy of the retroviral information (provirus), complete except for 
the absence of a packaging signal.  A packaging signal is a sequence which when 
in an RNA molecule leads to its packaging in retroviral particles.

Ulrich Melcher
Oklahoma State Univ.

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