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A structural constraint for functional interaction between N-terminal and C-terminal domains in simian immunodeficiency virus capsid proteins.

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The Gag capsid (CA) is one of the most conserved proteins in highly-diversified human and simian immunodeficiency viruses (HIV and SIV). Understanding the limitations imposed on amino acid sequences in CA could provide valuable information for vaccine immunogen design or anti-HIV drug development. Here, by comparing two pathogenic SIV strains, SIVmac239 and SIVsmE543-3, we found critical amino acid residues for functional interaction between the N-terminal and the C-terminal domains in CA. RESULTS: We first examined the impact of Gag residue 205, aspartate (Gag205D) in SIVmac239 and glutamate (Gag205E) in SIVsmE543-3, on viral replication; due to this difference, Gag206-216 (IINEEAADWDL) epitope-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) were previously shown to respond to SIVmac239 but not SIVsmE543-3 infection. A mutant SIVmac239, SIVmac239Gag205E, whose Gag205D is replaced with Gag205E showed lower replicative ability. Interestingly, however, SIVmac239Gag205E passaged in macaque T cell culture often resulted in selection of an additional mutation at Gag residue 340, a change from SIVmac239 valine (Gag340V) to SIVsmE543-3 methionine (Gag340M), with recovery of viral fitness. Structural modeling analysis suggested possible intermolecular interaction between the Gag205 residue in the N-terminal domain and Gag340 in the C-terminal in CA hexamers. The Gag205D-to-Gag205E substitution in SIVmac239 resulted in loss of in vitro core stability, which was recovered by additional Gag340V-to-Gag340M substitution. Finally, selection of Gag205E plus Gag340M mutations, but not Gag205E alone was observed in a chronically SIVmac239-infected rhesus macaque eliciting Gag206-216-specific CTL responses. CONCLUSIONS: These results present in vitro and in vivo evidence implicating the interaction between Gag residues 205 in CA NTD and 340 in CA CTD in SIV replication. Thus, this study indicates a structural constraint for functional interaction between SIV CA NTD and CTD, providing insight into immunogen design to limit viral escape options.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC2964592 | BioStudies | 2010-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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