Publication Date


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Academic Program

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program


Program in Molecular Medicine

First Thesis Advisor

Maria Zapp, PhD


Cell Nucleolus, Virus Replication, Nuclear Proteins, HIV-1


Dissertations, UMMS; Cell Nucleolus; Virus Replication; Nuclear Proteins; HIV-1


The nucleolus is a plurifunctional organelle with dynamic protein exchange involved in diverse aspects of cell biology. Additionally, the nucleolus has been shown to have a role in the replication of numerous viruses, which includes HIV-1. Several groups have reported HIV-1 vRNA localization within the nucleolus. Moreover, it has been demonstrated the HIV-1 Rev protein localizes to the nucleolus and interacts with nucleolar proteins, including NPM1. Despite evidence for a nucleolar involvement during replication, a functional link has not been demonstrated. I investigated whether introncontaining vRNAs have a Rev-mediated nucleolar localization step prior to export. Furthermore, I examined whether NPM1 mediates Rev nucleolar localization, participates in Rev function, and/or post-transcriptional events during viral replication. I used coupled RNA fluorescence in situhybridization and indirect immunofluorescence to visualize intron-containing vRNA relative to the nucleolus in the absence or presence of Rev expression. An RNAi-based approach was used to examine the role of NPM1 in Rev function and viral replication in cell lines and primary human macrophages. My research findings support a model for a Rev-independent nucleolar localization step of introncontaining vRNA prior to export. Intriguingly, my results also suggest NPM1 does not participate in Rev nucleolar localization or Rev-mediated vRNA export, as previously proposed. Rather, my findings support a novel role for NPM1, the cytoplasmic localization and utilization of a select class of Rev-dependent vRNAs. Collectively, my findings provide novel insight for a functional role of the nucleolus and NPM1 in HIV-1 replication, which enhances our current understanding of HIV-1 biology.



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