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.
Project description:Retroviruses selectively package two copies of their unspliced genomes by what appears to be a dimerization-dependent RNA packaging mechanism. Dimerization of human immunodeficiency virus Type-1 (HIV-1) genomes is initiated by "kissing" interactions between GC-rich palindromic loop residues of a conserved hairpin (DIS), and is indirectly promoted by long-range base pairing between residues overlapping the gag start codon (AUG) and an upstream Unique 5' element (U5). The DIS and U5:AUG structures are phylogenetically conserved among divergent retroviruses, suggesting conserved functions. However, some studies suggest that the DIS of HIV-2 does not participate in dimerization, and that U5:AUG pairing inhibits, rather than promotes, genome dimerization. We prepared RNAs corresponding to native and mutant forms of the 5' leaders of HIV-1 (NL4-3 strain), HIV-2 (ROD strain), and two divergent strains of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV; cpz-TAN1 and -US strains), and probed for potential roles of the DIS and U5:AUG base pairing on intrinsic and NC-dependent dimerization by mutagenesis, gel electrophoresis, and NMR spectroscopy.Dimeric forms of the native HIV-2 and SIV leaders were only detectable using running buffers that contained Mg(2+), indicating that these dimers are more labile than that of the HIV-1 leader. Mutations designed to promote U5:AUG base pairing promoted dimerization of the HIV-2 and SIV RNAs, whereas mutations that prevented U5:AUG pairing inhibited dimerization. Chimeric HIV-2 and SIV leader RNAs containing the dimer-promoting loop of HIV-1 (DIS) exhibited HIV-1 leader-like dimerization properties, whereas an HIV-1NL4-3 mutant containing the SIVcpzTAN1 DIS loop behaved like the SIVcpzTAN1 leader. The cognate NC proteins exhibited varying abilities to promote dimerization of the retroviral leader RNAs, but none were able to convert labile dimers to non-labile dimers.The finding that U5:AUG formation promotes dimerization of the full-length HIV-1, HIV-2, SIVcpzUS, and SIVcpzTAN1 5' leaders suggests that these retroviruses utilize a common RNA structural switch mechanism to modulate function. Differences in native and NC-dependent dimerization propensity and lability are due to variations in the compositions of the DIS loop residues rather than other sequences within the leader RNAs. Although NC is a well-known RNA chaperone, its role in dimerization has the hallmarks of a classical riboswitch.
Project description:The HIV-1 type dimerization initiation signal (DIS) loop was used as a starting point for the analysis of the stability of Watson-Crick (WC) base pairs in a tertiary structure context. We used ultraviolet melting to determine thermodynamic parameters for loop-loop tertiary interactions and compared them with regular secondary structure RNA helices of the same sequences. In 1 M Na+ the loop-loop interaction of a HIV-1 DIS type pairing is 4 kcal/mol more stable than its sequence in an equivalent regular and isolated RNA helix. This difference is constant and sequence independent, suggesting that the rules governing the stability of WC base pairs in the secondary structure context are also valid for WC base pairs in the tertiary structure context. Moreover, the effect of ion concentration on the stability of loop-loop tertiary interactions differs considerably from that of regular RNA helices. The stabilization by Na+ and Mg2+ is significantly greater if the base pairing occurs within the context of a loop-loop interaction. The dependence of the structural stability on salt concentration was defined via the slope of a T(m)/log [ion] plot. The short base-paired helices are stabilized by 8 degrees C/log [Mg2+] or 11 degrees C/log [Na+], whereas base-paired helices forming tertiary loop-loop interactions are stabilized by 16 degrees C/log [Mg2+] and 26 degrees C/log [Na+]. The different dependence on ionic strength that is observed might reflect the contribution of specific divalent ion binding to the preformation of the hairpin loops poised for the tertiary kissing loop-loop contacts.
Project description:An RNA kissing complex formed by the dimerization initiation site plays a critical role in the survival and infectivity of human immunodeficiency virus. Two dimerization initiation site kissing sequences, Mal and Lai, have been found in most human immunodeficiency virus 1 variants. Formation and stability of these RNA kissing complexes depend crucially on cationic conditions, particularly Mg 2+. Using optical tweezers, we investigated the mechanical unfolding of single RNA molecules with either Mal-type (GUGCAC) or Lai-type (GCGCGC) kissing complexes under various ionic conditions. The force required to disrupt the kissing interaction of the two structures, the rip force, is sensitive to concentrations of KCl and MgCl2; addition of 3 mM MgCl2 to 100 mM KCl changes the rip force of Mal from 21 +/- 4 to 46 +/- 3 pN. From the rip force distribution, the kinetics of breaking the kissing interaction is calculated as a function of force and cation concentration. The two kissing complexes have distinct unfolding transition states, as shown by different values of deltaX(++), which is the distance from the folded structure to the unfolding transition state. The deltaX(++) of Mal is approximately 0.6 nm smaller than that of Lai, suggesting that fewer kissing base pairs are broken at the transition state of the former, consistent with observations that the Lai-type kissing complex is more stable and requires significantly more force to unfold than the Mal type. More importantly, neither K+ nor Mg 2+ significantly changes the position of the transition state along the reaction coordinate. However, increasing concentrations of cations increase the kinetic barrier. We derived a cation-specific parameter, m, to describe how the height of the kinetic barrier depends on the concentration of cations. Our results suggest that Mg 2+ greatly slows down the unfolding of the kissing complex but has moderate effects on the formation kinetics of the structure.
Project description:The dimer initiation site/dimer linkage sequence (DIS/DLS) region of HIV is located on the 5' end of the viral genome and suggested to form complex secondary/tertiary structures. Within this structure, stem-loop 1 (SL1) is believed to be most important and an essential key to dimerization, since the sequence and predicted secondary structure of SL1 are highly stable and conserved among various virus subtypes. In particular, a six-base palindromic sequence is always present at the hairpin loop of SL1 and the formation of kissing-loop structure at this position between the two strands of genomic RNA is suggested to trigger dimerization. Although the higher-order structure model of SL1 is well accepted and perhaps even undoubted lately, there could be stillroom for consideration to depict the functional SL1 structure while in vivo (in virion or cell).In this study, we performed several analyses to identify the nucleotides and/or basepairing within SL1 which are necessary for HIV-1 genome dimerization, encapsidation, recombination and infectivity. We unexpectedly found that some nucleotides that are believed to contribute the formation of the stem do not impact dimerization or infectivity. On the other hand, we found that one G-C basepair involved in stem formation may serve as an alternative dimer interactive site. We also report on our further investigation of the roles of the palindromic sequences on viral replication. Collectively, we aim to assemble a more-comprehensive functional map of SL1 on the HIV-1 viral life cycle.We discovered several possibilities for a novel structure of SL1 in HIV-1 DLS. The newly proposed structure model suggested that the hairpin loop of SL1 appeared larger, and genome dimerization process might consist of more complicated mechanism than previously understood. Further investigations would be still required to fully understand the genome packaging and dimerization of HIV.
Project description:Owing to a striking, and most likely fortuitous, structural and sequence similarity with the bacterial 16 S ribosomal A site, the RNA kissing-loop complex formed by the HIV-1 genomic RNA dimerization initiation site (DIS) specifically binds 4,5-disubstituted 2-deoxystreptamine (2-DOS) aminoglycoside antibiotics. We used chemical probing, molecular modeling, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and UV melting to investigate aminoglycoside binding to the DIS loop-loop complex. We showed that apramycin, an aminoglycoside containing a bicyclic moiety, also binds the DIS, but in a different way than 4,5-disubstituted 2-DOS aminoglycosides. The determination of thermodynamic parameters for various aminoglycosides revealed the role of the different rings in the drug-RNA interaction. Surprisingly, we found that the affinity of lividomycin and neomycin for the DIS (K(d) approximately 30 nM) is significantly higher than that obtained in the same experimental conditions for their natural target, the bacterial A site (K(d) approximately 1.6 microM). In good agreement with their respective affinity, aminoglycoside increase the melting temperature of the loop-loop interaction and also block the conversion from kissing-loop complex to extended duplex. Taken together, our data might be useful for selecting new molecules with improved specificity and affinity toward the HIV-1 DIS RNA.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The genome of retroviruses, including HIV-1, is packaged as two homologous (+) strand RNA molecules, noncovalently associated close to their 5'-end in a region called dimer linkage structure (DLS). Retroviral HIV-1 genomic RNAs dimerize through complex interactions between dimerization initiation sites (DIS) within the (5'-UTR). Dimer formation is prevented by so calledLong Distance Interaction (LDI) conformation, whereas Branched Multiple Hairpin (BMH) conformation leads to spontaneous dimerization. METHODS AND RESULTS: We evaluated the role of SL1 (DIS), PolyA Hairpin signal and a long distance U5-AUG interaction by in-vitro dimerization, conformer assay and coupled dimerization and template-switching assays using antisense PNAs. Our data suggests evidence that PNAs targeted against SL1 produced severe inhibitory effect on dimerization and template-switching processes while PNAs targeted against U5 region do not show significant effect on dimerization and template switching, while PNAs targeted against AUG region showed strong inhibition of dimerization and template switching processes. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that PNA can be used successfully as an antisense to inhibit dimerization and template switching process in HIV -1 and both of the processes are closely linked to each other. Different PNA oligomers have ability of switching between two thermodynamically stable forms. PNA targeted against DIS and SL1 switch, LDI conformer to more dimerization friendly BMH form. PNAs targeted against PolyA haipin configuration did not show a significant change in dimerization and template switching process. The PNA oligomer directed against the AUG strand of U5-AUG duplex structure also showed a significant reduction in RNA dimerization as well as template- switching efficiency.The antisense PNA oligomers can be used to regulate the shift in the LDI/BMH equilibrium.
Project description:The dimer initiation site (DIS) hairpin of the HIV-2 untranslated leader RNA mediates in vitro dimerization through 'loop-loop kissing' of a loop-exposed palindrome sequence. Premature RNA dimerization must be prevented during the retroviral life cycle. A regulatory mechanism has been proposed for the HIV-1 leader RNA that can adopt an alternative conformation in which the DIS motif is effectively masked by long-distance base pairing with upstream leader sequences. We now report that HIV-2 RNA dimerization is also regulated. Sequestering of the DIS motif by base pairing interactions with downstream leader sequences mediates a switch to a dimerization-impaired conformation. The existence of two alternative conformations of the HIV-2 leader RNA is supported by UV melting experiments. Furthermore, the equilibrium between the two conformations can be shifted by annealing of antisense oligonucleotides or by deletion of certain leader regions. These measures have a profound impact on the dimerization properties of the transcript, demonstrating a mutual exclusivity between the alternative conformation and dimerization, similar to what has been described for the HIV-1 leader. The overall resemblance in regulation of HIV-1 and HIV-2 RNA dimerization suggests that a similar mechanism may be operating in other lentiviruses and perhaps all retroviridae.
Project description:The highly conserved 5' untranslated region (5'UTR) of the HIV-1 RNA genome is central to the regulation of virus replication. NMR and biochemical experiments support a model in which the 5'UTR can transition between at least two conformational states. In one state the genome remains a monomer, as the palindromic dimerization initiation site (DIS) is sequestered via base pairing to upstream sequences. In the second state, the DIS is exposed, and the genome is competent for kissing loop dimerization and packaging into assembling virions where an extended dimer is formed. According to this model the conformation of the 5'UTR determines the fate of the genome. In this work, the dynamics of this proposed conformational switch and the factors that regulate it were probed using multiple single-molecule and in-gel ensemble FRET assays. Our results show that the HIV-1 5'UTR intrinsically samples conformations that are stabilized by both viral and host factor binding. Annealing of tRNALys3, the primer for initiation of reverse transcription, can promote the kissing dimer but not the extended dimer. In contrast, HIV-1 nucleocapsid (NC) promotes formation of the extended dimer in both the absence and presence of tRNALys3 Our data are consistent with an ordered series of events that involves primer annealing, genome dimerization, and virion assembly.
Project description:Stem loop 1 (SL1) is a highly conserved hairpin in the 5'-leader of the human immunodeficiency virus type I that forms a metastable kissing dimer that is converted during viral maturation into a stable duplex with the aid of the nucleocapsid (NC) protein. SL1 contains a highly conserved internal loop that promotes the kissing-duplex transition by a mechanism that remains poorly understood. Using NMR, we characterized internal motions induced by the internal loop in an SL1 monomer that may promote the kissing-duplex transition. This includes micro-to-millisecond secondary structural transitions that cause partial melting of three base-pairs above the internal loop making them key nucleation sites for exchanging strands and nanosecond rigid-body stem motions that can help bring strands into spatial register. We show that while Mg2+ binds to the internal loop and arrests these internal motions, it preserves and/or activates local mobility at internal loop residues G272 and G273 which are implicated in NC binding. By stabilizing SL1 without compromising the accessibility of G272 and G273 for NC binding, Mg2+ may increase the dependence of the kissing-duplex transition on NC binding thus preventing spontaneous transitions from taking place and ensuring that viral RNA and protein maturation occur in concert.
Project description:Explicit solvent molecular dynamics simulations (in total almost 800 ns including locally enhanced sampling runs) were applied with different ion conditions and with two force fields (AMBER and CHARMM) to characterize typical geometries adopted by the flanking bases in the RNA kissing-loop complexes. We focus on flanking base positions in multiple x-ray and NMR structures of HIV-1 DIS kissing complexes and kissing complex from the large ribosomal subunit of Haloarcula marismortui. An initial x-ray open conformation of bulged-out bases in HIV-1 DIS complexes, affected by crystal packing, tends to convert to a closed conformation formed by consecutive stretch of four stacked purine bases. This is in agreement with those recent crystals where the packing is essentially avoided. We also observed variants of the closed conformation with three stacked bases, while nonnegligible populations of stacked geometries with bulged-in bases were detected, too. The simulation results reconcile differences in positions of the flanking bases observed in x-ray and NMR studies. Our results suggest that bulged-out geometries are somewhat more preferred, which is in accord with recent experiments showing that they may mediate tertiary contacts in biomolecular assemblies or allow binding of aminoglycoside antibiotics.