Promiscuous RNA binding ensures effective encapsidation of APOBEC3 proteins by HIV-1.
ABSTRACT: The apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide-like 3 (APOBEC3) proteins are cell-encoded cytidine deaminases, some of which, such as APOBEC3G (A3G) and APOBEC3F (A3F), act as potent human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) restriction factors. These proteins require packaging into HIV-1 particles to exert their antiviral activities, but the molecular mechanism by which this occurs is incompletely understood. The nucleocapsid (NC) region of HIV-1 Gag is required for efficient incorporation of A3G and A3F, and the interaction between A3G and NC has previously been shown to be RNA-dependent. Here, we address this issue in detail by first determining which RNAs are able to bind to A3G and A3F in HV-1 infected cells, as well as in cell-free virions, using the unbiased individual-nucleotide resolution UV cross-linking and immunoprecipitation (iCLIP) method. We show that A3G and A3F bind many different types of RNA, including HIV-1 RNA, cellular mRNAs and small non-coding RNAs such as the Y or 7SL RNAs. Interestingly, A3G/F incorporation is unaffected when the levels of packaged HIV-1 genomic RNA (gRNA) and 7SL RNA are reduced, implying that these RNAs are not essential for efficient A3G/F packaging. Confirming earlier work, HIV-1 particles formed with Gag lacking the NC domain (Gag ?NC) fail to encapsidate A3G/F. Here, we exploit this system by demonstrating that the addition of an assortment of heterologous RNA-binding proteins and domains to Gag ?NC efficiently restored A3G/F packaging, indicating that A3G and A3F have the ability to engage multiple RNAs to ensure viral encapsidation. We propose that the rather indiscriminate RNA binding characteristics of A3G and A3F promote functionality by enabling recruitment into a wide range of retroviral particles whose packaged RNA genomes comprise divergent sequences.
Project description:HIV-1 particles contain RNA species other than the unspliced viral RNA genome. For instance, viral spliced RNAs and host 7SL and U6 RNAs are natural components that are non-randomly incorporated. To understand the mechanism of packaging selectivity, we analyzed the content of a large panel of HIV-1 variants mutated either in the 5'UTR structures of the viral RNA or in the Gag-nucleocapsid protein (GagNC). In parallel, we determined whether the selection of host 7SL and U6 RNAs is dependent or not on viral RNA and/or GagNC. Our results reveal that the polyA hairpin in the 5'UTR is a major packaging determinant for both spliced and unspliced viral RNAs. In contrast, 5'UTR RNA structures have little influence on the U6 and 7SL RNAs, indicating that packaging of these host RNAs is independent of viral RNA packaging. Experiments with GagNC mutants indicated that the two zinc-fingers and N-terminal basic residues restrict the incorporation of the spliced RNAs, while favoring unspliced RNA packaging. GagNC through the zinc-finger motifs also restricts the packaging of 7SL and U6 RNAs. Thus, GagNC is a major contributor to the packaging selectivity. Altogether our results provide new molecular insight on how HIV selects distinct RNA species for incorporation into particles.
Project description:The human apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide-like 3F (APOBEC3F [A3F]) and A3G proteins are effective inhibitors of infection by various retroelements and share approximately 50% amino acid sequence identity. We therefore undertook comparative analyses of the protein and RNA compositions of A3F- and A3G-associated ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs). Like A3G, A3F is found associated with a complex array of cytoplasmic RNPs and can accumulate in RNA-rich cytoplasmic microdomains known as mRNA processing bodies or stress granules. While A3F RNPs display greater resistance to disruption by RNase digestion, the major protein difference is the absence of the Ro60 and La autoantigens. Consistent with this, A3F RNPs also lack a number of small polymerase III RNAs, including the RoRNP-associated Y RNAs, as well as 7SL RNA. Alu RNA is, however, present in A3F and A3G RNPs, and both proteins suppress Alu element retrotransposition. Thus, we define a number of subtle differences between the RNPs associated with A3F and A3G and speculate that these contribute to functional differences that have been described for these proteins.
Project description:The ssDNA-dependent deoxycytidine deaminase apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing, enzyme-catalytic, polypeptide-like 3G (A3G) is a potent restrictive factor against HIV-1 virus lacking viral-encoded infectivity factor (Vif) in CD4(+) T cells. A3G antiretroviral activity requires its encapsulation into HIV-1 virions. In this study, we show that germinal center-associated nuclear protein (GANP) is induced in activated CD4(+) T cells and physically interacts with A3G. Overexpression of GANP augments the A3G encapsidation into the virion-like particles and ?Vif HIV-1 virions. GANP is encapsidated in HIV-1 virion and modulates A3G packaging into the cores together with cellular RNAs, including 7SL RNA, and with unspliced HIV-1 genomic RNA. GANP upregulation leads to a significant increase in A3G-catalyzed G?A hypermutation in the viral genome and suppression of HIV-1 infectivity in a single-round viral infection assay. Conversely, GANP knockdown caused a marked increase in HIV-1 infectivity in a multiple-round infection assay. The data suggest that GANP is a cellular factor that facilitates A3G encapsidation into HIV-1 virions to inhibit viral infectivity.
Project description:APOBEC3G and APOBEC3F are cell-encoded restriction factors that have evolved to counteract virus infections. When packaged into HIV-1 particles, A3G and A3F impair reverse transcription and induce the hypermutation of viral DNA. We employed a next generation sequencing approach to identify the RNAs that these proteins bind in HIV-1 infected cells and HIV-1 virions. We then analysed the mechanism of packaging of APOBEC3 in detail.
Project description:The APOBEC3 (A3) cytidine deaminases are antiretroviral proteins, whose targets include human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1). Their incorporation into viral particles is critical for antiviral activity and is driven by interactions with the RNA molecules that are packaged into virions. However, it is unclear whether A3 proteins preferentially target RNA molecules that are destined to be packaged and if so, how. Using cross-linking immunoprecipitation sequencing (CLIP-seq), we determined the RNA binding preferences of the A3F, A3G and A3H proteins. We found that A3 proteins bind preferentially to RNA segments with particular properties, both in cells and in virions. Specifically, A3 proteins target RNA sequences that are G-rich and/or A-rich and are not scanned by ribosomes during translation. Comparative analyses of HIV-1 Gag, nucleocapsid (NC) and A3 RNA binding to HIV-1 RNA in cells and virions revealed the striking finding that A3 proteins partially mimic the RNA binding specificity of the HIV-1 NC protein. These findings suggest a model for A3 incorporation into HIV-1 virions in which an NC-like RNA binding specificity is determined by nucleotide composition rather than sequence. This model reconciles the promiscuity of A3 RNA binding that has been observed in previous studies with a presumed advantage that would accompany selective binding to RNAs that are destined to be packaged into virions.
Project description:HIV-1 is known to package several small cellular RNAs in addition to its genome. Previous work consistently demonstrated that the host structural RNA 7SL is abundant in HIV-1 virions but has yielded conflicting results regarding whether 7SL is present in minimal, assembly-competent virus-like particles (VLPs). Here, we demonstrate that minimal HIV-1 VLPs retain 7SL RNA primarily as an endoribonucleolytic fragment, referred to as 7SL remnant (7SLrem). Nuclease mapping showed that 7SLrem is a 111-nucleotide internal portion of 7SL, with 5' and 3' ends corresponding to unpaired loops in the 7SL two-dimensional structure. Analysis of VLPs comprised of different subsets of Gag domains revealed that all NC-positive VLPs contained intact 7SL while the presence of 7SLrem correlated with the absence of the NC domain. Because 7SLrem, which maps to the 7SL S domain, was not detectable in infected cells, we propose a model whereby the species recruited to assembling VLPs is intact 7SL RNA, with 7SLrem produced by an endoribonuclease in the absence of NC. Since recruitment of 7SL RNA was a conserved feature of all tested minimal VLPs, our model further suggests that 7SL's recruitment is mediated, either directly or indirectly, through interactions with conserved features of all tested VLPs, such as the C-terminal domain of CA.
Project description:APOBEC3G (A3G) and APOBEC3F (A3F) reduce Vif-negative HIV-1 provirus formation and cause disabling provirus G-to-A hypermutation in vitro. However, evidence conflicts about whether they negatively impact Vif-positive HIV-1, or only enhance virus genetic diversity, in vivo. We studied peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 19 antiretroviral-naïve, HIV-infected adults: 12 long-term non-progressors (LTNP) and 7 non-controllers (NC). Cells from LTNP had higher A3G and A3F mRNA levels, lower provirus burden, and more A3G-hypermutated positions in provirus sequence than cells from NC. A3G mRNA level was directly associated with its Hypermutation Index (HI) and inversely associated with provirus burden. Plasma HIV-1 RNA levels were inversely associated with A3G expression levels and with HI only among subjects who had HI>1. A3G HI was not associated with provirus burden. These results indicate that A3G deaminase-dependent activity above a threshold level, and its deaminase-independent functions, contribute to decreasing Vif-positive virus replication in vivo.
Project description:Genome packaging is an essential step to generate infectious HIV-1 virions and is mediated by interactions between the viral protein Gag and cis-acting elements in the full-length RNA. The sequence necessary and sufficient to allow RNA genome packaging into an HIV-1 particle has not been defined. Here, we used two distinct reporter systems to determine the HIV-1 sequence required for heterologous, non-viral RNAs to be packaged into viral particles. Although the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of the HIV-1 RNA is known to be important for RNA packaging, we found that its ability to mediate packaging relies heavily on the context of the downstream sequences. Insertion of the 5' UTR and the first 32-nt of gag into two different reporter RNAs is not sufficient to mediate the packaging of these RNA into HIV-1 particles. However, adding the 5' half of the gag gene to the 5' UTR strongly facilitates the packaging of two reporter RNAs; such RNAs can be packaged at >50% of the efficiencies of an HIV-1 near full-length vector. To further examine the role of the gag sequence in RNA packaging, we replaced the 5' gag sequence in the HIV-1 genome with two codon-optimized gag sequences and found that such substitutions only resulted in a moderate decrease of RNA packaging efficiencies. Taken together, these results indicated that both HIV-1 5' UTR and the 5' gag sequence are required for efficient packaging of non-viral RNA into HIV-1 particles, although the gag sequence likely plays an indirect role in genome packaging.
Project description:Retroviruses incorporate specific host cell RNAs into virions. In particular, the host noncoding 7SL RNA is highly abundant in all examined retroviruses compared with its cellular levels or relative to common mRNAs such as actin. Using live cell imaging techniques, we have determined that the 7SL RNA does not arrive with the HIV-1 RNA genome. Instead, it is recruited contemporaneously with assembly of the protein HIV-1 Gag at the plasma membrane. Further, we demonstrate that complexes of 7SL RNA and Gag can be immunoprecipitated from both cytosolic and plasma membrane fractions. This indicates that 7SL RNAs likely interact with Gag prior to high-order Gag multimerization at the plasma membrane. Thus, the interactions between Gag and the host RNA 7SL occur independent of the interactions between Gag and the host endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) proteins, which are recruited temporarily at late stages of assembly. The interactions of 7SL and Gag are also independent of interactions of Gag and the HIV-1 genome which are seen on the plasma membrane prior to assembly of Gag.
Project description:Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the first retrovirus that has conclusively been shown to cause human diseases. In HIV-1, specific interactions between the nucleocapsid (NC) domain of the Gag protein and genomic RNA (gRNA) mediate gRNA dimerization and selective packaging; however, the mechanism for gRNA packaging in HTLV-1, a deltaretrovirus, is unclear. In other deltaretroviruses, the matrix (MA) and NC domains of Gag are both involved in gRNA packaging, but MA binds nucleic acids with higher affinity and has more robust chaperone activity, suggesting that this domain may play a primary role. Here, we show that the MA domain of HTLV-1, but not the NC domain, binds short hairpin RNAs derived from the putative gRNA packaging signal. RNA probing of the HTLV-1 5' leader and cross-linking studies revealed that the primer-binding site and a region within the putative packaging signal form stable hairpins that interact with MA. In addition to a previously identified palindromic dimerization initiation site (DIS), we identified a new DIS in HTLV-1 gRNA and found that both palindromic sequences bind specifically the NC domain. Surprisingly, a mutant partially defective in dimer formation in vitro exhibited a significant increase in RNA packaging into HTLV-1-like particles, suggesting that efficient RNA dimerization may not be strictly required for RNA packaging in HTLV-1. Moreover, the lifecycle of HTLV-1 and other deltaretroviruses may be characterized by NC and MA functions that are distinct from those of the corresponding HIV-1 proteins, but together provide the functions required for viral replication.