Cooperative methylation of human tRNA3Lysat positions A58 and U54 drives the early and late steps of HIV-1 replication

Hiroyuki Fukuda, Takeshi Chujo, Fan Yan Wei, Sheng Lan Shi, Mayumi Hirayama, Taku Kaitsuka, Takahiro Yamamoto, Hiroyuki Oshiumi, Kazuhito Tomizawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Retroviral infection requires reverse transcription, and the reverse transcriptase (RT) uses cellular tRNA as its primer. In humans, the TRMT6-TRMT61A methyltransferase complex incorporates N1-methyladenosine modification at tRNA position 58 (m1A58); however, the role of m1A58 as an RT-stop site during retroviral infection has remained questionable. Here, we constructed TRMT6 mutant cells to determine the roles of m1A in HIV-1 infection. We confirmed that tRNA3Lys m1A58 was required for in vitro plus-strand strong-stop by RT. Accordingly, infectivity of VSV-G pseudotyped HIV-1 decreased when the virus contained m1A58-deficient tRNA3Lys instead of m1A58-modified tRNA3Lys. In TRMT6 mutant cells, the global protein synthesis rate was equivalent to that of wild-type cells. However, unexpectedly, plasmid-derived HIV-1 expression showed that TRMT6 mutant cells decreased accumulation of HIV-1 capsid, integrase, Tat, Gag, and GagPol proteins without reduction of HIV-1 RNAs in cells, and fewer viruses were produced. Moreover, the importance of 5,2′-O-dimethyluridine at U54 of tRNA3Lys as a second RT-stop site was supported by conservation of retroviral genome-tRNALys sequence-complementarity, and TRMT6 was required for efficient 5-methylation of U54. These findings illuminate the fundamental importance of tRNA m1A58 modification in both the early and late steps of HIV-1 replication, as well as in the cellular tRNA modification network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11855-11867
Number of pages13
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov 18


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