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Jembrana disease virus (JDV) is a bovine lentivirus genetically similar to bovine immunodeficiency virus; it causes an acute and sometimes fatal disease in infected animals. This virus carries a very potent Tat that can strongly activate not only its own long terminal repeat (LTR) but also the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) LTR. In contrast, HIV Tat cannot reciprocally activate the JDV LTR (H. Chen, G. E. Wilcox, G. Kertayadnya, and C. Wood, J. Virol. 73:658–666, 1999). This indicates that in transactivation JDV Tat may utilize a mechanism similar to but not the same as that of the HIV Tat. To further study the similarity of JDV and HIV tat in transactivation, we first tested the responses of a series of HIV LTR mutants to the JDV Tat. Cross-transactivation of HIV LTR by JDV Tat was impaired by mutations that disrupted the HIV type 1 transactivation response element (TAR) RNA stem-loop structure. Our results demonstrated that JDV Tat, like HIV Tat, transactivated the HIV LTR at least partially in a TAR-dependent manner. However, the sequence in the loop region of TAR was not as critical for the function of JDV Tat as it was for HIV Tat. The competitive inhibition of Tat-induced transactivation by the truncated JDV or HIV Tat, which consisted only of the activation domain, suggested that similar cellular factors were involved in both JDV and HIV Tatinduced transactivation. Based on the one-round transfection assay with HIV tat mutant proviruses, the cotransfected JDV tat plasmid can functionally complement the HIV tat defect. To further characterize the effect of JDV Tat on HIV, a stable chimeric HIV carrying the JDV tat gene was generated. This chimeric HIV replicated in a T-cell line, C8166, and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, which suggested that JDV Tat can functionally substitute for HIV Tat. Further characterization of this chimeric virus will help to elucidate how JDV Tat functions and to explain the differences between HIV and JDV Tat transactivation.