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Comparison of Uncleaved and Mature Human Immunodeficiency Virus Membrane Envelope Glycoprotein Trimers.

ABSTRACT: The mature envelope glycoprotein (Env) spike on the surfaces of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected cells and virions is derived from proteolytic cleavage of a trimeric gp160 glycoprotein precursor. In these studies, we compared the conformations of cleaved and uncleaved membrane Envs with truncated cytoplasmic tails to those of stabilized soluble gp140 SOSIP.664 Env trimers. Deletion of the gp41 cytoplasmic tail did not significantly affect the sensitivity of viruses with the HIV-1AD8 Env to inhibition by antibodies or a CD4-mimetic compound. After glutaraldehyde fixation and purification from membranes, a cleaved Env exhibited a hydrodynamic radius of ?10 nm and an antibody-binding profile largely consistent with that expected based on virus neutralization sensitivity. The purified cleaved Env trimers exhibited a hollow architecture with a central void near the trimer axis. Uncleaved Env, cross-linked and purified in parallel, exhibited a hydrodynamic radius similar to that of the cleaved Env. However, the uncleaved Env was recognized by poorly neutralizing antibodies and appeared by negative-stain electron microscopy to sample multiple conformations. Compared with membrane Envs, stabilized soluble gp140 SOSIP.664 Env trimers appear to be more compact, as reflected in their smaller hydrodynamic radii and negative-stain electron microscopy structures. The antigenic features of the soluble gp140 SOSIP.664 Env trimers differed from those of the cleaved membrane Env, particularly in gp120 V3 and some CD4-binding-site epitopes. Thus, proteolytic maturation allows the membrane-anchored Env to achieve a conformation that retains functional metastability but masks epitopes for poorly neutralizing antibodies.IMPORTANCE The entry of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) into host cells is mediated by the envelope glycoprotein (Env) spike on the surface of the virus. Host antibodies elicited during natural HIV-1 infection or by vaccination can potentially recognize the Env spike and block HIV-1 infection. However, the changing shape of the HIV-1 Env spike protects the virus from antibody binding. Understanding the shapes of natural and man-made preparations of HIV-1 Envs will assist the development of effective vaccines against the virus. Here, we evaluate the effects of several Env modifications commonly used to produce Env preparations for vaccine studies and the determination of structure. We found that the cleavage of the HIV-1 Env precursor helps Env to assume its natural shape, which resists the binding of many commonly elicited antibodies. Stabilized soluble Envs exhibit more compact shapes but expose some Env elements differently than the natural Env.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5974486 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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