Helix-helix interactions are fundamental to many biological signals and systems and are found in homo- or heteromultimerization of signaling molecules as well as in the process of virus entry into the host. In HIV, virus-host membrane fusion during infection is mediated by the formation of six-helix bundles (6HBs) from homotrimers of gp41, from which a number of synthetic peptides have been derived as antagonists of virus entry. Using a yeast surface two-hybrid (YS2H) system, a platform designed to detect protein-protein interactions occurring through a secretory pathway, we reconstituted 6HB complexes on the yeast surface, quantitatively measured the equilibrium and kinetic constants of soluble 6HB, and delineated the residues influencing homo-oligomeric and hetero-oligomeric coiled-coil interactions. Hence, we present YS2H as a platform for the facile characterization and design of antagonistic peptides for inhibition of HIV and many other enveloped viruses relying on membrane fusion for infection, as well as cellular signaling events triggered by hetero-oligomeric coiled coils.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies are directed against the gp120 subunit of the env surface protein. Native env consists of a trimer of gp120-gp41 heterodimers, and in contrast to monomeric gp120, preferentially binds CD4 binding site (CD4bs)-directed neutralizing antibodies over non-neutralizing ones. Some cryo-electron tomography studies have suggested that the V1V2 loop regions of gp120 are located close to the trimer interface. We have therefore designed cyclically permuted variants of gp120 with and without the h-CMP and SUMO2a trimerization domains inserted into the V1V2 loop. h-CMP-V1cyc is one such variant in which residues 153 and 142 are the N- and C-terminal residues, respectively, of cyclically permuted gp120 and h-CMP is fused to the N-terminus. This molecule forms a trimer under native conditions and binds CD4 and the neutralizing CD4bs antibodies b12 with significantly higher affinity than wild-type gp120. It binds non-neutralizing CD4bs antibody F105 with lower affinity than gp120. A similar derivative, h-CMP-V1cyc1, bound the V1V2 loop-directed broadly neutralizing antibodies PG9 and PG16 with ∼20-fold higher affinity than wild-type JRCSF gp120. These cyclic permutants of gp120 are properly folded and are potential immunogens. The data also support env models in which the V1V2 loops are proximal to the trimer interface.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To date, several HIV-1 fusion inhibitors based on the carboxy-terminal leucine/isoleucine heptad repeat (CHR) region of an HIV-1 envelope protein gp41 have been discovered. We have shown that a synthetic peptide mimetic of a trimer form of the CHR-derived peptide C34 has potent inhibitory activity against the HIV-1 fusion mechanism, compared to a monomer C34 peptide. The present study revealed that a dimeric form of C34 is evidently structurally critical for fusion inhibitors, and that the activity of multimerized CHR-derived peptides in fusion inhibition is affected by the properties of the unit peptides C34, SC34EK, and T20. The fluorescence-based study suggested that the N36-interactive sites of the C34 trimer, including hydrophobic residues, are exposed outside the trimer and that trimerization of C34 caused a remarkable increase in fusion inhibitory activity. The present results could be useful in the design of fusion inhibitors against viral infections which proceed via membrane fusion with host cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV CRF07 B'/C is a strain circulating mainly in northwest region of China. The gp41 region of CRF07 is derived from a clade C virus. In order to compare the difference of CRF07 gp41 with that of typical clade B virus, we solved the crystal structure of the core region of CRF07 gp41. Compared with clade B gp41, CRF07 gp41 evolved more basic and hydrophilic residues on its helix bundle surface. Based on sequence alignment, a hyper-mutant cluster located in the middle of HR2 heptads repeat was identified. The mutational study of these residues revealed that this site is important in HIV mediated cell-cell fusion and plays critical roles in conformational changes during viral invasion.
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