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HIV-1 DIS stem loop forms an obligatory bent kissing intermediate in the dimerization pathway.

ABSTRACT: The HIV-1 dimerization initiation sequence (DIS) is a conserved palindrome in the apical loop of a conserved hairpin motif in the 5'-untranslated region of its RNA genome. DIS hairpin plays an important role in genome dimerization by forming a 'kissing complex' between two complementary hairpins. Understanding the kinetics of this interaction is key to exploiting DIS as a possible human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drug target. Here, we present a single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) study of the dimerization reaction kinetics. Our data show the real-time formation and dissociation dynamics of individual kissing complexes, as well as the formation of the mature extended duplex complex that is ultimately required for virion packaging. Interestingly, the single-molecule trajectories reveal the presence of a previously unobserved bent intermediate required for extended duplex formation. The universally conserved A272 is essential for the formation of this intermediate, which is stabilized by Mg(2+), but not by K(+) cations. We propose a 3D model of a possible bent intermediate and a minimal dimerization pathway consisting of three steps with two obligatory intermediates (kissing complex and bent intermediate) and driven by Mg(2+) ions.

SUBMITTER: Mundigala H 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4066764 | BioStudies | 2014-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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