Article

Determining the frequency and mechanisms of HIV-1 and HIV-2 RNA copackaging by single-virion analysis.

HIV Drug Resistance Program, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 5.08). 08/2011; 85(20):10499-508. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.05147-11
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT HIV-1 and HIV-2 are derived from two distinct primate viruses and share only limited sequence identity. Despite this, HIV-1 and HIV-2 Gag polyproteins can coassemble into the same particle and their genomes can undergo recombination, albeit at an extremely low frequency, implying that HIV-1 and HIV-2 RNA can be copackaged into the same particle. To determine the frequency of HIV-1 and HIV-2 RNA copackaging and to dissect the mechanisms that allow the heterologous RNA copackaging, we directly visualized the RNA content of each particle by using RNA-binding proteins tagged with fluorescent proteins to label the viral genomes. We found that when HIV-1 and HIV-2 RNA are present in viral particles at similar ratios, ∼10% of the viral particles encapsidate both HIV-1 and HIV-2 RNAs. Furthermore, heterologous RNA copackaging can be promoted by mutating the 6-nucleotide (6-nt) dimer initiation signal (DIS) to discourage RNA homodimerization or to encourage RNA heterodimerization, indicating that HIV-1 and HIV-2 RNA can heterodimerize prior to packaging using the DIS sequences. We also observed that the coassembly of HIV-1 and HIV-2 Gag proteins is not required for the heterologous RNA copackaging; HIV-1 Gag proteins are capable of mediating HIV-1 and HIV-2 RNA copackaging. These results define the cis- and trans-acting elements required for and affecting the heterologous RNA copackaging, a prerequisite for the generation of chimeric viruses by recombination, and also shed light on the mechanisms of RNA-Gag recognition essential for RNA encapsidation.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
104 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Influenza A virus possesses a segmented genome of eight negative-sense, single-stranded RNAs. The eight segments have been shown to be represented in approximately equal molar ratios in a virus population; however, the exact copy number of each viral RNA segment per individual virus particles has not been determined. We have established an experimental approach based on multicolor single-molecule fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to study the composition of viral RNAs at single-virus particle resolution. Colocalization analysis showed that a high percentage of virus particles package all eight different segments of viral RNAs. To determine the copy number of each RNA segment within individual virus particles, we measured the photobleaching steps of individual virus particles hybridized with fluorescent probes targeting a specific viral RNA. By comparing the photobleaching profiles of probes against the HA RNA segment for the wild-type influenza A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8) and a recombinant PR8 virus carrying two copies of the HA segment, we concluded that only one copy of HA segment is packaged into a wild type virus particle. Our results showed similar photobleaching behaviors for other RNA segments, suggesting that for the majority of the virus particles, only one copy of each RNA segment is packaged into one virus particle. Together, our results support that the packaging of influenza viral genome is a selective process.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2012; 109(23):9101-6. · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Retroviruses produce full-length RNA that serves both as a genomic RNA (gRNA), which is encapsidated into virus particles, and as an mRNA, which directs the synthesis of viral structural proteins. However, we are only beginning to understand the cellular and viral factors that influence trafficking of retroviral RNA and the selection of the RNA for encapsidation or translation. Live cell imaging studies of retroviral RNA trafficking have provided important insight into many aspects of the retrovirus life cycle including transcription dynamics, nuclear export of viral RNA, translational regulation, membrane targeting, and condensation of the gRNA during virion assembly. Here, we review cutting-edge techniques to visualize single RNA molecules in live cells and discuss the application of these systems to studying retroviral RNA trafficking.
    Viruses 06/2012; 4(6):963-79. · 2.51 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
17 Downloads
Available from
May 22, 2014