Journal of virology, 15 March 2018, Vol.92(6)
Sterile alpha motif and HD domain-containing protein 1 (SAMHD1) regulates intracellular deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) levels and functions as a retroviral restriction factor through its dNTP triphosphohydrolase (dNTPase) activity. Human SAMHD1 interacts with cell cycle regulatory proteins cyclin A2, cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1), and CDK2. This interaction mediates phosphorylation of SAMHD1 at threonine 592 (T592), which negatively regulates HIV-1 restriction. We previously reported that the interaction is mediated, at least in part, through a cyclin-binding motif (RXL, amino acids [aa] 451 to 453). To understand the role of the RXL motif in regulating SAMHD1 activity, we performed structural and functional analyses of RXL mutants and the effect on HIV-1 restriction. We found that the RXL mutation (R451A and L453A, termed RL/AA) disrupted SAMHD1 tetramer formation and abolished its dNTPase activity and in cells. Compared to wild-type (WT) SAMHD1, the RL/AA mutant failed to restrict HIV-1 infection and had reduced binding to cyclin A2. WT SAMHD1 and RL/AA mutant proteins were degraded by Vpx from HIV-2 but were not spontaneously ubiquitinated in the absence of Vpx. Analysis of proteasomal and autophagy degradation revealed that WT and RL/AA SAMHD1 protein levels were enhanced only when both pathways of degradation were simultaneously inhibited. Our results demonstrate that the RXL motif of human SAMHD1 is required for its HIV-1 restriction, tetramer formation, dNTPase activity, and efficient phosphorylation at T592. These findings identify a new functional domain of SAMHD1 important for its structural integrity, enzyme activity, phosphorylation, and HIV-1 restriction. SAMHD1 is the first mammalian dNTPase identified as a restriction factor that inhibits HIV-1 replication by decreasing the intracellular dNTP pool in nondividing cells, although the critical mechanisms regulating SAMHD1 function remain unclear. We previously reported that mutations of a cyclin-binding RXL motif in human SAMHD1 significantly affect protein expression levels, half-life, nuclear localization, and phosphorylation, suggesting an important role of this motif in modulating SAMHD1 functions in cells. To further understand the significance and mechanisms of the RXL motif in regulating SAMHD1 activity, we performed structural and functional analyses of the RXL motif mutation and its effect on HIV-1 restriction. Our results indicate that the RXL motif is critical for tetramer formation, dNTPase activity, and HIV-1 restriction. These findings help us understand SAMHD1 interactions with other host proteins and the mechanisms regulating SAMHD1 structure and functions in cells.
HIV-1 ; Samhd1 ; Cyclin Binding ; Dntpase ; Infection ; Restriction ; Structure ; HIV Infections ; HIV-1 ; Mutation, Missense ; Protein Multimerization ; SAM Domain and HD Domain-Containing Protein 1
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