The integrase protein from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) has generally been reported to require Mn2+ for efficient in vitro activity. We have reexamined the divalent metal ion requirements of HIV-1 integrase and find that the protein is capable of promoting efficient 3' processing and DNA strand transfer with either Mn2+ or Mg2+. The metal ion preference depended upon the reaction conditions. HIV-1 integrase displayed significantly less nonspecific nuclease activity in reaction mixtures containing Mg2+ than it did under the previously described reaction conditions with mixtures containing Mn2+.
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