The integrase-catalyzed insertion of the retroviral genome into the host chromosome involves two reactions in vivo: 1) the binding and endonucleolytic removal of the terminal dinucleotides of the viral DNA termini and 2) the recombination of the ends with the host DNA. Kukolj and Skalka (Kukolj, G., and Skalka, A. M. (1995) Genes Dev. 9, 2556-2567) have previously shown that tethering of the termini enhances the endonucleolytic activities of integrase. We have used 5'-5' phosphoramidites to design reverse-polarity tethers that allowed us to examine the reactivity of two viral long terminal repeat-derived sequences when concurrently bound to integrase and, additionally, developed presteady-state assays to analyze the initial exponential phase of the reaction, which is a measure of the amount of productive nucleoprotein complexes formed during preincubation of integrase and DNA. Furthermore, the reverse-polarity tether circumvents the integrase-catalyzed splicing reaction (Bao, K., Skalka, A. M., and Wong, I. (2002) J. Biol. Chem. 277, 12089-12098) that obscures accurate analysis of the reactivities of synapsed DNA substrates. Consequently, we were able to establish a lower limit of 0.2 s(-1) for the rate constant of the processing reaction. The analysis showed the physiologically relevant U3/U5 pair of viral ends to be the preferred substrate for integrase with the U3/U3 combination favored over the U5/U5 pair.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retroviral integrase, one of only three enzymes encoded by the virus, catalyzes the essential step of inserting a DNA copy
of the viral genome into the host during infection. Using the avian sarcoma virus integrase, we demonstrate that the enzyme
functions as a tetramer. In presteady-state active site titrations, four integrase protomers were required for a single catalytic
turnover. Volumetric determination of integrase-DNA complexes imaged by atomic force microscopy during the initial turnover
additionally revealed substrate-induced assembly of a tetramer. These results suggest that tetramer formation may be a requisite
step during catalysis with ramifications for antiviral design strategies targeting the structurally homologous human immunodeficiency
virus, type 1 (HIV-1) integrase.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Replication protein A (RPA) is involved in multiple stages of DNA mismatch repair (MMR); however, the modulation of its functions between different stages is unknown. We show here that phosphorylation likely modulates RPA functions during MMR. Unphosphorylated RPA initially binds to nicked heteroduplex DNA to facilitate assembly of the MMR initiation complex. The unphosphorylated protein preferentially stimulates mismatch-provoked excision, possibly by cooperatively binding to the resultant single-stranded DNA gap. The DNA-bound RPA begins to be phosphorylated after extensive excision, resulting in severalfold reduction in the DNA binding affinity of RPA. Thus, during the phase of repair DNA synthesis, the phosphorylated RPA readily disassociates from DNA, making the DNA template available for DNA polymerase delta-catalyzed resynthesis. These observations support a model of how phosphorylation alters the DNA binding affinity of RPA to fulfill its differential requirement at the various stages of MMR.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV-1 integrase, which catalyzes the joining of viral DNA to the host cell DNA, has attracted considerable attention as a target for the design and screening of novel anti-HIV drugs as it is essential for virus replication and the establishment of persistent infection. Progress in the identification of different classes of compounds that block integrase activity has been summarized recently in several excellent reviews. Here, we present a brief overview of integrase inhibition, highlighting some of the unusual properties of this protein and important considerations in searching for potential new inhibitors and their evaluation.
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