Membrane interaction and structure of the transmembrane domain of influenza hemagglutinin and its fusion peptide complex

Institute of Chemistry, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan 11529, Republic of China.
BMC Biology (Impact Factor: 7.98). 02/2008; 6(1):2. DOI: 10.1186/1741-7007-6-2
Source: PubMed


To study the organization and interaction with the fusion domain (or fusion peptide, FP) of the transmembrane domain (TMD) of influenza virus envelope glycoprotein for its role in membrane fusion which is also essential in the cellular trafficking of biomolecules and sperm-egg fusion.
The fluorescence and gel electrophoresis experiments revealed a tight self-assembly of TMD in the model membrane. A weak but non-random interaction between TMD and FP in the membrane was found. In the complex, the central TMD oligomer was packed by FP in an antiparallel fashion. FP insertion into the membrane was altered by binding to TMD. An infrared study exhibited an enhanced membrane perturbation by the complex formation. A model was built to illustrate the role of TMD in the late stages of influenza virus-mediated membrane fusion reaction.
The TMD oligomer anchors the fusion protein in the membrane with minimal destabilization to the membrane. Upon associating with FP, the complex exerts a synergistic effect on the membrane perturbation. This effect is likely to contribute to the complete membrane fusion during the late phase of fusion protein-induced fusion cascade. The results presented in the work characterize the nature of the interaction of TMD with the membrane and TMD in a complex with FP in the steps leading to pore initiation and dilation during virus-induced fusion. Our data and proposed fusion model highlight the key role of TMD-FP interaction and have implications on the fusion reaction mediated by other type I viral fusion proteins. Understanding the molecular mechanism of membrane fusion may assist in the design of anti-viral drugs.

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Available from: Yu-Tsan Liu, Jan 22, 2014
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    • "Following this idea, Chang et al. explored the existence of actual interactions between HA FP and TMD and its involvement in the IFV fusion process (Chang et al., 2008). They used fluorescently labeled peptides and model membranes, to assay formation of complexes between FP and TMD domains. "
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    ABSTRACT: Fusion peptides comprise conserved hydrophobic domains absolutely required for the fusogenic activity of glycoproteins from divergent virus families. After 30 years of intensive research efforts, the structures and functions underlying their high degree of sequence conservation are not fully elucidated. The long-hydrophobic viral fusion peptide (VFP) sequences are structurally constrained to access three successive states after biogenesis. Firstly, the VFP sequence must fulfill the set of native interactions required for (meta)stable folding within the globular ectodomains of glycoprotein complexes. Secondly, at the onset of the fusion process, they get transferred into the target cell membrane and adopt specific conformations therein. According to commonly accepted mechanistic models, membrane-bound states of the VFP might promote the lipid bilayer remodeling required for virus-cell membrane merger. Finally, at least in some instances, several VFPs co-assemble with transmembrane anchors into membrane integral helical bundles, following a locking movement hypothetically coupled to fusion-pore expansion. Here we review different aspects of the three major states of the VFPs, including the functional assistance by other membrane-transferring glycoprotein regions, and discuss briefly their potential as targets for clinical intervention.
    Chemistry and Physics of Lipids 04/2014; 181. DOI:10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2014.03.003 · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    • "Our analysis indicates that amino acids substitutions in the pre-anchor region of E1 (V333A, L337A and M347A) strongly reduced the amount of cross-recurrence suggesting a possible interaction between this region and the domain containing the fusion peptide. Interestingly, a similar association of the trans-membrane domain with the fusion peptide seems to represent a key event in the fusion process of influenza virus [37]. If the interaction between these two domains of E1 is required to complete the fusion process, this step could be a potential target for antiviral fusion inhibitors. "
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    ABSTRACT: The E1 protein of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) can be dissected into two distinct hydrophobic regions: a central domain containing an hypothetical fusion peptide (FP), and a C-terminal domain (CT) comprising two segments, a pre-anchor and a trans-membrane (TM) region. In the currently accepted model of the viral fusion process, the FP and the TM regions are considered to be closely juxtaposed in the post-fusion structure and their physical interaction cannot be excluded. In the present study, we took advantage of the natural sequence variability present among HCV strains to test, by purely sequence-based computational tools, the hypothesis that in this virus the fusion process involves the physical interaction of the FP and CT regions of E1. Two computational approaches were applied. The first one is based on the co-evolution paradigm of interacting peptides and consequently on the correlation between the distance matrices generated by the sequence alignment method applied to FP and CT primary structures, respectively. In spite of the relatively low random genetic drift between genotypes, co-evolution analysis of sequences from five HCV genotypes revealed a greater correlation between the FP and CT domains than respect to a control HCV sequence from Core protein, so giving a clear, albeit still inconclusive, support to the physical interaction hypothesis.The second approach relies upon a non-linear signal analysis method widely used in protein science called Recurrence Quantification Analysis (RQA). This method allows for a direct comparison of domains for the presence of common hydrophobicity patterns, on which the physical interaction is based upon. RQA greatly strengthened the reliability of the hypothesis by the scoring of a lot of cross-recurrences between FP and CT peptides hydrophobicity patterning largely outnumbering chance expectations and pointing to putative interaction sites. Intriguingly, mutations in the CT region of E1, reducing the fusion process in vitro, strongly reduced the amount of cross-recurrence further supporting interaction between this region and FP. Our results support a fusion model for HCV in which the FP and the C-terminal region of E1 are juxtaposed and interact in the post-fusion structure. These findings have general implications for viruses, as any visualization of the post-fusion FP-TM complex has been precluded by the impossibility to obtain crystallised viral fusion proteins containing the trans-membrane region. This limitation gives to sequence based modelling efforts a crucial role in the sketching of a molecular interpretation of the fusion process. Moreover, our data also have a more general relevance for cell biology as the mechanism of intracellular fusion showed remarkable similarities with viral fusion.
    BMC Structural Biology 08/2009; 9(1):48. DOI:10.1186/1472-6807-9-48 · 1.18 Impact Factor
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    • "). The active fusion core of viruses such as influenza and the human immunodeficiency virus constitutes a 6-helix bundle consisting of two helices from each fusion protein in the trimer (Skehel and Wiley, 2000; Melikyan et al., 2000; Russel et al., 2001; Chang et al., 2008). Its formation can be prevented by antiviral peptides that mimic the helices and compete with the protein-protein interactions that give rise to the fusion core (Hsieh and Hsu JT., 2007; Stevens and Donis, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: With the emergence and rapid spread of West Nile virus in the United States since 1999, and the 50-100 million infections per year caused by dengue virus globally, the threat of flaviviruses as re-emerging human pathogens has become a reality. To support the efforts that are currently being pursued to develop effective vaccines against these viruses, researchers are also actively pursuing the development of small molecule compounds that target various aspects of the virus life cycle. Recent advances in the structural characterization of the flaviviruses have provided a strong foundation towards these efforts. These studies have provided the pseudo-atomic structures of virions from several members of the genus as well as atomic resolution structures of several viral proteins. Most importantly, these studies have highlighted specific structural rearrangements that occur within the virion that are necessary for the virus to complete its life cycle. These rearrangements occur when the virus must transition from immature, to mature, to fusion-active states and rely heavily on the conformational flexibility of the envelope (E) protein that forms the outer glycoprotein shell of the virus. Analysis of these conformational changes can suggest promising targets for structure-based antiviral design. For instance, by targeting the flexibility of the E protein, it might be possible to inhibit required rearrangements of this protein and trap the virus in a specific state. This would interfere with a productive flaviviral infection. This review presents a structural perspective of the flavivirus life cycle and focuses on the role of the E protein as an opportune target for structure-based antiviral drug design.
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