Proteasome inhibition interferes with gag polyprotein processing, release, and maturation of HIV-1 and HIV-2.
ABSTRACT: Retrovirus assembly and maturation involve folding and transport of viral proteins to the virus assembly site followed by subsequent proteolytic cleavage of the Gag polyprotein within the nascent virion. We report that inhibiting proteasomes severely decreases the budding, maturation, and infectivity of HIV. Although processing of the Env glycoproteins is not changed, proteasome inhibitors inhibit processing of Gag polyprotein by the viral protease without affecting the activity of the HIV-1 viral protease itself, as demonstrated by in vitro processing of HIV-1 Gag polyprotein Pr55. Furthermore, this effect occurs independently of the virus release function of the HIV-1 accessory protein Vpu and is not limited to HIV-1, as proteasome inhibitors also reduce virus release and Gag processing of HIV-2. Electron microscopy analysis revealed ultrastructural changes in budding virions similar to mutants in the late assembly domain of p6(gag), a C-terminal domain of Pr55 required for efficient virus maturation and release. Proteasome inhibition reduced the level of free ubiquitin in HIV-1-infected cells and prevented monoubiquitination of p6(gag). Consistent with this, viruses with mutations in PR or p6(gag) were resistant to detrimental effects mediated by proteasome inhibitors. These results indicate the requirement for an active proteasome/ubiquitin system in release and maturation of infectious HIV particles and provide a potential pharmaceutical strategy for interfering with retrovirus replication.
Project description:Ubiquitination appears to be involved in virus particle release from infected cells. Free ubiquitin (Ub), as well as Ub covalently bound to a small fraction of p6 Gag, is detected in mature HIV particles. Here we report that the p6 region in the Pr55(Gag) structural precursor polyprotein binds to Tsg101, a putative Ub regulator that is involved in trafficking of plasma membrane-associated proteins. Tsg101 was found to interact with Gag in (i) a yeast two-hybrid assay, (ii) in vitro coimmunoprecipitation by using purified Pr55(Gag) and rabbit reticulocyte lysate-synthesized Tsg101, and (iii) in vivo in the cytoplasm of COS cells transfected with gag. The PTAPP motif [or late (L) domain] within p6, which is required for release of mature virus from the plasma membrane, was the determinant for binding Pr55(Gag). The N-terminal region in Tsg101, which is homologous to the Ubc4 class of Ub-conjugating (E2) enzymes, was the determinant of interaction with p6. Mutation of Tyr-110 in Tsg101, present in place of the active-site Cys that binds Ub in E2 enzymes, and other residues unique to Tsg101, impaired p6 interaction, indicating that features that distinguish Tsg101 from active E2 enzymes were important for binding the viral protein. The results link L-domain function in HIV to the Ub machinery and a specific component of the cellular trafficking apparatus.
Project description:There is a significantly higher risk for type II diabetes in HIV-1 carriers, albeit the molecular mechanism for this HIV-related pathology remains enigmatic. The 52 amino acid HIV-1 p6 Gag protein is synthesized as the C-terminal part of the Gag polyprotein Pr55. In this context, p6 promotes virus release by its two late (L-) domains, and facilitates the incorporation of the viral accessory protein Vpr. However, the function of p6 in its mature form, after proteolytic release from Gag, has not been investigated yet. We found that the mature p6 represents the first known viral substrate of the ubiquitously expressed cytosolic metalloendopeptidase insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE). IDE is sufficient and required for degradation of p6, and p6 is approximately 100-fold more efficiently degraded by IDE than its eponymous substrate insulin. This observation appears to be specific for HIV-1, as p6 proteins from HIV-2 and simian immunodeficiency virus, as well as the 51 amino acid p9 from equine infectious anaemia virus were insensitive to IDE degradation. The amount of virus-associated p6, as well as the efficiency of release and maturation of progeny viruses does not depend on the presence of IDE in the host cells, as it was shown by CRISPR/Cas9 edited IDE KO cells. However, HIV-1 mutants harboring IDE-insensitive p6 variants exhibit reduced virus replication capacity, a phenomenon that seems to depend on the presence of an X4-tropic Env. Furthermore, competing for IDE by exogenous insulin or inhibiting IDE by the highly specific inhibitor 6bK, also reduced virus replication. This effect could be specifically attributed to IDE since replication of HIV-1 variants coding for an IDE-insensitive p6 were inert towards IDE-inhibition. Our cumulative data support a model in which removal of p6 during viral entry is important for virus replication, at least in the case of X4 tropic HIV-1.
Project description:The Pr55<sup>Gag</sup> precursor specifically selects the HIV-1 genomic RNA (gRNA) from a large excess of cellular and partially or fully spliced viral RNAs and drives the virus assembly at the plasma membrane. During these processes, the NC domain of Pr55<sup>Gag</sup> interacts with the gRNA, while its C-terminal p6 domain binds cellular and viral factors and orchestrates viral particle release. Gag?p6 is a truncated form of Pr55<sup>Gag</sup> lacking the p6 domain usually used as a default surrogate for wild type Pr55<sup>Gag</sup> for in vitro analysis. With recent advance in production of full-length recombinant Pr55<sup>Gag</sup>, here, we tested whether the p6 domain also contributes to the RNA binding specificity of Pr55<sup>Gag</sup> by systematically comparing binding of Pr55<sup>Gag</sup> and Gag?p6 to a panel of viral and cellular RNAs. Unexpectedly, our fluorescence data reveal that the p6 domain is absolutely required for specific binding of Pr55<sup>Gag</sup> to the HIV-1 gRNA. Its deletion resulted not only in a decreased affinity for gRNA, but also in an increased affinity for spliced viral and cellular RNAs. In contrast Gag?p6 displayed a similar affinity for all tested RNAs. Removal of the C-terminal His-tag from Pr55<sup>Gag</sup> and Gag?p6 uniformly increased the Kd values of the RNA-protein complexes by ~ 2.5 fold but did not affect the binding specificities of these proteins. Altogether, our results demonstrate a novel role of the p6 domain in the specificity of Pr55<sup>Gag</sup>-RNA interactions, and strongly suggest that the p6 domain contributes to the discrimination of HIV-1 gRNA from cellular and spliced viral mRNAs, which is necessary for its selective encapsidation.
Project description:During HIV-1 assembly, the viral protein R (Vpr) is incorporated into newly made viral particles via an interaction with the C-terminal domain of the Gag polyprotein precursor Pr55(Gag). Vpr has been implicated in the nuclear import of newly made viral DNA and subsequently in its transcription. In addition, Vpr can affect the cell physiology by causing G(2)/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Vpr can form oligomers, but their roles have not yet been investigated. We have developed fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy-fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based assays to monitor the interaction between Pr55(Gag) and Vpr in HeLa cells. To that end, we used enhanced green fluorescent protein-Vpr that can be incorporated into the virus and tetracysteine (TC)-tagged Pr55(Gag)-TC. This TC motif is tethered to the C terminus of Pr55(Gag) and does not interfere with Pr55(Gag) trafficking and the assembly of virus-like particles (VLPs). Results show that the Pr55(Gag)-Vpr complexes accumulated mainly at the plasma membrane. In addition, results with Pr55(Gag)-TC mutants confirm that the (41)LXXLF domain of Gag-p6 is essential for Pr55(Gag)-Vpr interaction. We also report that Vpr oligomerization is crucial for Pr55(Gag) recognition and its accumulation at the plasma membrane. On the other hand, Pr55(Gag)-Vpr complexes are still formed when Pr55(Gag) carries mutations impairing its multimerization. These findings suggest that Pr55(Gag)-Vpr recognition and complex formation occur early during Pr55(Gag) assembly.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The Pr55(gag) (Gag) polyprotein of HIV serves as a scaffold for virion assembly and is thus essential for progeny virion budding and maturation. Gag localizes to the plasma membrane (PM) and membranes of late endosomes, allowing for release of infectious virus directly from the cell membrane and/or upon exocytosis. The host factors involved in Gag trafficking to these sites are largely unknown. Upon activation, CD4+ T cells, the primary target of HIV infection, express the class II transcriptional activator (CIITA) and therefore the MHC class II isotype, HLA-DR. Similar to Gag, HLA-DR localizes to the PM and at the membranes of endosomes and specialized vesicular MHC class II compartments (MIICs). In HIV producer cells, transient HLA-DR expression induces intracellular Gag accumulation and impairs virus release.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Here we demonstrate that both stable and transient expression of CIITA in HIV producer cells does not induce HLA-DR-associated intracellular retention of Gag, but does increase the infectivity of virions. However, neither of these phenomena is due to recapitulation of the class II antigen presentation pathway or CIITA-mediated transcriptional activation of virus genes. Interestingly, we demonstrate that CIITA, apart from its transcriptional effects, acts cytoplasmically to enhance Pr160(gag-pol) (Gag-Pol) levels and thereby the viral protease and Gag processing, accounting for the increased infectivity of virions from CIITA-expressing cells.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>This study demonstrates that CIITA enhances HIV Gag processing, and provides the first evidence of a novel, post-transcriptional, cytoplasmic function for a well-known transactivator.
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Gag is expressed as a polyprotein that is cleaved into six proteins by the viral protease in a maturation process that begins during assembly and budding. While processing of the N terminus of Gag is strictly required for virion maturation and infectivity, the necessity for the C-terminal cleavages of Gag is less well defined. To examine the importance of this process, we introduced a series of mutations into the C terminus of Gag that interrupted the cleavage sites that normally produce in the nucleocapsid (NC), spacer 2 (SP2), or p6(Gag) proteins. Protein analysis showed that all of the mutant constructs produced virions efficiently upon transfection of cells and appropriately processed Gag polyprotein at the nonmutated sites. Mutants that produced a p9(NC/SP2) protein exhibited only minor effects on HIV-1 infectivity and replication. In contrast, mutants that produced only the p8(SP2/p6) or p15(NC/SP2/p6) protein had severe defects in infectivity and replication. To identify the key defective step, we quantified reverse transcription and integration products isolated from infected cells by PCR. All mutants tested produced levels of reverse transcription products either similar to or only somewhat lower than that of wild type. In contrast, mutants that failed to cleave the SP2-p6(Gag) site produced drastically less provirus than the wild type. Together, our results show that processing of the SP2-p6(Gag) and not the NC-SP2 cleavage site is important for efficient viral DNA integration during infection in vitro. In turn, this finding suggests an important role for the p9(NC/SP2) species in some aspect of integration.
Project description:It is now well accepted that the structural protein Pr55(Gag) is sufficient by itself to produce HIV-1 virus-like particles (VLPs). This polyprotein precursor contains different domains including matrix, capsid, SP1, nucleocapsid, SP2 and p6. In the present study, we wanted to determine by mutagenesis which region(s) is essential to the production of VLPs when Pr55(Gag) is inserted in a mammalian expression vector, which allows studying the protein of interest in the absence of other viral proteins. To do so, we first studied a minimal Pr55(Gag) sequence called Gag min that was used previously. We found that Gag min fails to produce VLPs when expressed in an expression vector instead of within a molecular clone. This failure occurs early in the cell at the assembly of viral proteins. We then generated a series of deletion and substitution mutants, and examined their ability to produce VLPs by combining biochemical and microscopic approaches. We demonstrate that the matrix region is not necessary, but that the efficiency of VLP production depends strongly on the presence of its basic region. Moreover, the presence of the N-terminal domain of capsid is required for VLP production when Gag is expressed alone. These findings, combined with previous observations indicating that HIV-1 Pr55(Gag)-derived VLPs act as potent stimulators of innate and acquired immunity, make the use of this strategy worth considering for vaccine development.
Project description:HIV-1 acquires an impressive number of foreign components during its formation. Despite all previous efforts spent studying the nature and functionality of virus-anchored host molecules, the exact mechanism(s) through which such constituents are acquired by HIV-1 is still unknown. However, in the case of ICAM-1, one of the most extensively studied transmembrane proteins found associated with mature virions, the Pr55(Gag) precursor polyprotein appears to be a potential interaction partner. We investigated and characterized at the molecular level the process of ICAM-1 incorporation using initially a Pr55(Gag)-based virus-like particle (VLP) model. Substitution of various domains of Pr55(Gag), such as the nucleocapsid, SP2, or p6, had no effect on the acquisition of ICAM-1. We found that the structural matrix protein (MA) is mandatory for ICAM-1 incorporation within VLPs, and we confirmed this novel observation with the replication-competent HIV-1 molecular clone NL4.3. Additional studies suggest that the C-terminal two-thirds of MA, and especially 13 amino acids positioned inside the fifth ?-helix, are important. Moreover, based on three-dimensional (3D) modeling of protein-protein interactions (i.e., protein-protein docking) and further validation by a virus capture assay, we found that a series of acidic residues in the MA domain interact with basic amino acids located in the ICAM-1 cytoplasmic tail. Our findings provide new insight into the molecular mechanism governing the acquisition of ICAM-1, a host molecule known to enhance HIV-1 infectivity in a significant manner. Altogether, these observations offer a new avenue for the development of antiviral therapeutics that are directed at a target of host origin.Intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) is a cell surface host component known to be efficiently inserted within emerging HIV-1 particles. It has been demonstrated that host-derived ICAM-1 molecules act as a strong attachment factor and increase HIV-1 infectivity substantially. Despite previous efforts spent studying virus-associated host molecules, the precise mechanism(s) through which such constituents are inserted within emerging HIV-1 particles still remains obscure. Previous data suggest that the Pr55(Gag) precursor polyprotein appears as a potential interaction partner with ICAM-1. In the present study, we demonstrate that the HIV-1 matrix domain plays a key role in the ICAM-1 incorporation process. Some observations were confirmed with whole-virus preparations amplified in primary human cells, thereby providing physiological significance to our data.
Project description:Apart from its regulatory role in protease (PR) activation, little is known about the function of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 transframe protein p6* in the virus life cycle. p6* is located between the nucleocapsid and PR domains in the Gag-Pol polyprotein precursor and is cleaved by PR during viral maturation. We have recently reported that the central region of p6* can be extensively mutated without abolishing viral infectivity and replication in vitro. However, mutagenesis of the entire p6*-coding sequence in the proviral context is not feasible without affecting the superimposed frameshift signal or the overlapping p1-p6(gag) sequences. To overcome these limitations, we created a novel NL4-3-derived provirus by displacing the original frameshift signal to the 3' end of the gag gene, thereby uncoupling the p6* gene sequence from the p1-p6(gag) reading frame. The resulting virus (AL) proved to be replication competent in different cell cultures and thus represents an elegant tool for detailed analysis of p6* function. Hence, extensive deletions or substitutions were introduced into the p6* gene sequence of the AL provirus, and effects on particle release, protein processing, and viral infectivity were evaluated. Interestingly, neither the deletion of 63% of all p6* residues nor the partial substitution by a heterologous sequence affected virus growth and infectivity, suggesting that p6* is widely dispensable for viral in vitro replication. However, the insertion of a larger reporter sequence interfered with virus production and maturation, implying that the length or conformation of this spacer region might be critical for p6* function.
Project description:HIV-1 Gag polyprotein orchestrates the assembly of viral particles. Its C-terminus consists of the nucleocapsid (NC) domain that interacts with nucleic acids, and p1 and p6, two unstructured regions, p6 containing the motifs to bind ALIX, the cellular ESCRT factor TSG101 and the viral protein Vpr. The processing of Gag by the viral protease subsequently liberates NCp15 (NC-p1-p6), NCp9 (NC-p1) and NCp7, NCp7 displaying the optimal chaperone activity of nucleic acids. This review focuses on the nucleic acid binding properties of the NC domain in the different maturation states during the HIV-1 viral cycle.