The 5′ long terminal repeat of spleen necrosis virus (SNV) facilitates Rev/Rev-responsive element (RRE)-independent expression of intron-containing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gag. The SNV RU5 region, which corresponds to the 165-nucleotide 5′ RNA terminus, functions in a position- and orientation-dependent manner to enhance polysome association of intron-containing HIV-1 gag RNA and also nonviral luc RNA. Evidence is mounting that association with nuclear factors during intron removal licenses mRNAs for nuclear export, efficient translation, and nonsense-mediated decay. This project addressed the relationship between the nuclear export pathway of SNV RU5-reporter RNA and translational enhancement. Results of RNA transfection experiments suggest that cytoplasmic proteins are insufficient for SNV RU5 translational enhancement of gag or luc RNA. Reporter gene assays, leptomycin B (LMB) sensitivity experiments, and RNase protection assays indicate that RU5 gag RNA accesses a nuclear export pathway that is distinct from the LMB-inhibited leucine-rich nuclear export sequence-dependent CRM1 pathway, which is used by the HIV-1 RRE. As a unique tool with which to investigate the relationship between different RNA trafficking routes and translational enhancement, SNV RU5 and Rev/RRE were combined on a single gag RNA. We observed a less-than-synergistic effect on cytoplasmic mRNA utilization. Instead, Rev/RRE diverts RU5 gag RNA to the CRM1-dependent, LMB-inhibited pathway and abrogates translational enhancement by SNV RU5. Our study is the first to show that a nuclear factor(s) directs SNV RU5-containing RNAs to a distinct export pathway that is not inhibited by LMB and programs the intron-containing transcript for translational enhancement.