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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Virology, 2004, Vol.330(1), pp.271-283
    Description: The human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) transframe domain p6* is located between the nucleocapsid protein (NC) and the protease (PR) within the Gag-Pol precursor. This flexible, 68-amino-acid HIV-1 p6* domain has been suggested to negatively interfere with HIV PR activity in vitro proposing a contribution of either the C-terminal p6* tetrapeptide, internal cryptic PR cleavage sites, or a zymogen-related mechanism to a regulated PR activation. To assess these hypotheses in the viral context, a series of recombinant HX10-based provirus constructs has been established with clustered amino acid substitutions throughout the entire p6* coding sequence. Comparative analysis of the mutant proviral clones in different cell culture systems revealed that mutations within the well-conserved amino-terminal p6* region modified the Gag/Gag-Pol ratio and thus resulted in the release of viruses with impaired infectivity. Clustered amino acid substitutions destroying (i) the predicted cryptic PR cleavage sites or (ii) homologies to the pepsinogen propeptide did not influence viral replication in cell culture, whereas substitutions of the carboxyl-terminal p6* residues 62 to 68 altering proper release of the mature PR from the Gag-Pol precursor drastically reduced viral infectivity. Thus, the critical contribution of p6* and overlapping -acting sequence elements to timely regulated virus maturation and infectivity is closely linked to precise ribosomal frameshifting and proper N-terminal release of the viral PR from the Gag-Pol precursor, clearly disproving the hypothesis that sequence motifs in the central part of p6* modulate PR activation and viral infectivity.
    Keywords: P6pol ; Transframe Protein ; HIV-1 ; Frameshift ; Gag-Pol ; Cleavage Site ; Protease Regulation ; Maturation ; Protease Activation ; Biology
    ISSN: 0042-6822
    E-ISSN: 1096-0341
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Virology, 15 March 2000, Vol.268(2), pp.294-307
    Description: Recent analyses suggest that the p24 capsid (p24CA) domain of the HIV-1 group-specific antigen (Gag) may be divided into two structurally and functionally distinct moieties: (i) an amino-terminal portion, previously shown to bind the cellular chaperone cyclophilin A, and (ii) a carboxy-terminal domain, known to contribute to the interaction of the Gag and Gag-Pol precursors during the early assembly process. In order to gain deeper insight into the role of the amino-terminal domain of the p24CA protein during viral replication, eight highly conserved proline residues known to promote turns and to terminate -helices within the p24 tertiary structure were replaced by a leucine residue (P-position-L). Following transfection of the proviral constructs in COS7 cells, the majority of the mutants resembled wild-type viruses with respect to the assembly and release of virions. However, although the released particles contained wild-type levels of genomic viral RNA, the mature products of the Gag and Gag-Pol polyproteins as well as the Env glycoproteins—all of them, except mutant P225L—were either noninfectious or severely affected in their replicative capacity. Entry assays monitoring the process of viral DNA synthesis led to the classification of selected provirus mutants into four different phenotypes: (i) mutant P225L was infectious and allowed complete reverse transcription including formation of 2-LTR circles; (ii) mutants P149L, P170L, and P217L failed to form 2-LTR circles; (iii) mutant P222L displayed a severe defect in binding and incorporating cyclophilin A into virions, was delayed with respect to DNA polymerization, and failed to form a 2-LTR replication intermediate; and (iv) mutant P133L was unable even to synthesize a first-strand cDNA product. All replication-defective mutants were characterized by severe alterations in the stability of virion cores, which were in two cases reflected by visible changes in the core morphology. These results suggest that proline residues in the NH2-terminal capsid domain represent critical structure determinants for proper formation of functional virion cores and subsequent stages of early replication. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.
    Keywords: HIV-1 ; Capsid ; Core ; Replication ; Assembly ; Biology
    ISSN: 0042-6822
    E-ISSN: 1096-0341
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