Effects of temperature on the dynamic behaviour of the HIV-1 nucleocapsid NCp7 and its DNA complex.
ABSTRACT The nucleocapsid protein NCp7 of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) contains two highly conserved CCHC zinc fingers and is involved in many crucial steps of the virus life-cycle. A large number of physiological rôles of NCp7 involve its binding to single-stranded nucleic acid chains. Several solution structures of NCp7 and its complex with single-stranded RNA or DNA have been reported. We have investigated the changes in the dynamic behaviour experienced by the (12-53)NCp7 peptide upon DNA binding using (15)N heteronuclear relaxation measurements at 293 K and 308 K, and fluorescence spectroscopy. The relaxation data were interpreted using the reduced spectral density approach, which allowed the high-frequency motion, overall tumbling rates and the conformational exchange contributions to be characterized for various states of the peptide without using a specific motional model. Analysis of the temperature-dependent correlation times derived from both NMR and fluorescence data indicated a co-operative change of the molecular shape of apo (12-53)NCp7 around 303 K, leading to an increased hydrodynamic radius at higher temperatures. The binding of (12-53)NCp7 to a single-stranded d(ACGCC) pentanucleotide DNA led to a reduction of the conformational flexibility that characterized the apo peptide. Translational diffusion experiments as well as rotational correlation times indicated that the (12-53)NCp7/d(ACGCC) complex tumbles as a rigid object. The amplitudes of high-frequency motions were restrained in the complex and the occurrence of conformational exchange was displaced from the second zinc finger to the linker residue Ala30.
Article: Sensing peptide-oligonucleotide interactions by a two-color fluorescence label: application to the HIV-1 nucleocapsid protein.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We present a new methodology for site-specific sensing of peptide-oligonucleotide (ODN) interactions using a solvatochromic fluorescent label based on 3-hydroxychromone (3HC). This label was covalently attached to the N-terminus of a peptide corresponding to the zinc finger domain of the HIV-1 nucleocapsid protein (NC). On interaction with target ODNs, the labeled peptide shows strong changes in the ratio of its two emission bands, indicating an enhanced screening of the 3HC fluorophore from the bulk water by the ODN bases. Remarkably, this two-color response depends on the ODN sequence and correlates with the 3D structure of the corresponding complexes, suggesting that the 3HC label monitors the peptide-ODN interactions site-specifically. By measuring the two-color ratio, we were also able to determine the peptide-ODN-binding parameters and distinguish multiple binding sites in ODNs, which is rather difficult using other fluorescence methods. Moreover, this method was found to be more sensitive than the commonly used steady-state fluorescence anisotropy, especially in the case of small ODNs. The described methodology could become a new universal tool for investigating peptide-ODN interactions.Nucleic Acids Research 02/2009; 37(3):e25. · 8.03 Impact Factor
Article: Target specificity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 NCp7 requires an intact conformation of its CCHC N-terminal zinc finger.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The modification of zinc-binding residues inside the conserved CCHC motif of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 NCp7, in particular into CCHH, induces a complete loss of infectivity. Since the mutant His28NCp7 has been shown to be devoid of infectivity in vivo, the structure-function relationships of the mutant His28(12-53)NCp7 were investigated by nuclear magnetic resonance and surface plasmonic resonance. Although the Cys28-->His mutation modifies drastically the structure of the core domain (residues 12 to 53) of NCp7, His28(12-53)NCp7 still interacts with a 10-fold-lower affinity to specific nucleic acid targets, such as SL3, a stem-loop critically involved in viral RNA packaging, and without affinity change with the nonspecific, single-stranded nucleic acid poly(T). Moreover, His28(12-53)NCp7 and native (12-53)NCp7 displayed the same affinity with reverse transcriptase, but the natures of the complexes are probably different, accounting for the drastic reduction in the amount of RNA packaged in the mutated virus. We propose a structural model of His28(12-53)NCp7 that provides insights into the NCp7 structural features necessary for target recognition and that shows that the specific native structure of the zinc finger domain is strictly required for the optimal target selectivity of NCp7.Journal of Virology 06/2004; 78(12):6682-7. · 5.40 Impact Factor