I am in a high school biology class, so I cannot truly attest to how accurate the information I am given is, but as far as I know only RNA and very small molecules can enter the nuclear membrane through the pores on it (thus excluding DNA). Furthermore, I am fairly sure that the reverse-transcriptase used in the process of reverse transcription of the viral RNA must be used outside of the nuclear membrane, in the cytosol. My question is: How does the viral RNA, after it is reverse transcripted, enter the nuclear membrane?

My teacher and I have come to the conclusion that it probably creates the provirus sometime during mitosis, as the nuclear membrane dissolves, but this is more of an educated guess.

Thanks in advance!

  • $\begingroup$ The nuclear import mechanism is independent of the cell cycle. Here's a recent model for nuclear import, but there's still a lot of research into this: sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1879625713002022 $\endgroup$ – CKM Feb 3 '16 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Kendall I think the integrase also facilitates nuclear import but I am not sure. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Feb 4 '16 at 4:26

Some proteins are transported from cytoplasm to nucleus by the importin family through nuclear pore. These proteins have a specific sequence called Nuclear Localization Sequence (NLS) and the importin family recognizes NLS to import them. Recently it has been clear that the accessory protein vps which is translated from viral RNA and composes pre-integration complex (PIC) with viral DNA has atypical sequence like NLS. So. it has been thought that DNA from HIV is imported into host nucleus by importin family with PIC.

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    $\begingroup$ You should also add some references in your answer to support your claim. $\endgroup$ – another 'Homo sapien' Aug 6 '16 at 11:37
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry for having not added the reference. $\endgroup$ – ironKUMA Aug 7 '16 at 7:19
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    $\begingroup$ I'm sorry for having not added the reference. This is Yuko N.,et al, J. Virol .,2007,81,5284-5293 jvi.asm.org/content/81/10/5284.full $\endgroup$ – ironKUMA Aug 7 '16 at 7:26

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