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Nucleolar Access Is Variable in Leukocytes Depending on Cellular Migration & Adhesion Open Access

The nucleolus within eukaryotic nuclei is formed from ribosomal DNA (rDNA) regions of acrocentric chromosomes 13, 14, 15, 21 and 22 in humans. In addition to ribosome biogenesis, the nucleolus has been shown to be important in mRNA splicing, DNA damage responses, and RNA metabolism. Nucleoli provide a link between transcription and translation, making them critical for protein expression. Viruses can alter nucleolar function by targeting viral proteins to this structure. HIV-1 early-expressed proteins Tat and Rev both have highly basic nucleolar localization signals (NoLS) which may cause HIV-induced alterations of mRNA splicing, cytoplasmic transport, and translation. HIV-1 effects showed differences in nucleolar availability by highly-basic NoLS-containing peptides within adherent versus migrating leukocytes. This may suggest HIV-1 Tat and Rev only localize to the nucleolus when the infected cell is adherent.

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