Mutational analysis of the N-terminal domain of Moloney murine leukemia virus capsid protein.
ABSTRACT Retroviral capsid (CA) proteins contain a structurally conserved N-terminal domain (NTD) consisting of a beta-hairpin and six to seven alpha-helices. To examine the role of this domain in Moloney murine leukemia virus (MoMLV) replication, we analyzed 18 insertional mutations in this region. All mutants were noninfectious. Based on the results of this analysis and our previous studies on additional mutations in this domain, we were able to divide the NTD of MoMLV CA into three functional regions. The first functional region included the region near the N terminus that forms the beta-hairpin and was shown to control normal maturation of virions. The second region included the helix 4/5 loop and was essential for the formation of spherical cores. The third region encompassed most of the NTD except for the above loop. Mutants of this region assembled imperfect cores, as seen by detailed electron microscopy analyses, yet the resulting particles were efficiently released from cells. The mutants were defective at a stage immediately following entry of the core into cells. Despite possessing functional reverse transcriptase machinery, these mutant virions did not initiate reverse transcription in cells. This block could be due to structural defects in the assembling core or failure of an essential host protein to interact with the mutant CA protein, both of which may prevent correct disassembly upon entry of the virus into cells. Future studies are needed to understand the mechanism of these blocks and to target these regions pharmacologically to inhibit retroviral infection at additional stages.
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ABSTRACT: Retroviruses make a long and complex journey from outside the cell to the nucleus in the early stages of infection, and then an equally long journey back out again in the late stages of infection. Ongoing efforts are identifying an enormous array of cellular proteins that are used by the viruses in the course of their travels. These host factors are potential new targets for therapeutic intervention.Nature Reviews Microbiology 05/2007; 5(4):253-63. · 21.18 Impact Factor
Article: Three-dimensional structure of the M-MuLV CA protein on a lipid monolayer: a general model for retroviral capsid assembly.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Although retroviruses from different genera form morphologically distinct capsids, we have proposed that all of these structures are composed of similar hexameric arrays of capsid (CA) protein subunits and that their distinct morphologies reflect different distributions of pentameric declinations that allow the structures to close. Consistent with this model, CA proteins from both HIV-1 and Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) form similar hexagonal lattices. However, recent structural studies have suggested that the Moloney murine leukemia virus (M-MuLV) CA protein may assemble differently. We now report an independent three-dimensional reconstruction of two-dimensional crystals of M-MuLV CA. This new reconstruction reveals a hexameric lattice that is similar to those formed by HIV-1 and RSV CA, supporting a generalized model for retroviral capsid assembly.The EMBO Journal 07/2003; 22(12):2886-92. · 9.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The type 1 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) contains a conical capsid comprising approximately 1,500 CA protein subunits, which organizes the viral RNA genome for uncoating and replication in a new host cell. In vitro, CA spontaneously assembles into helical tubes and cones that resemble authentic viral capsids. Here we describe electron cryo-microscopy and image reconstructions of CA tubes from six different helical families. In spite of their polymorphism, all tubes are composed of hexameric rings of CA arranged with approximate local p6 lattice symmetry. Crystal structures of the two CA domains were 'docked' into the reconstructed density, which showed that the amino-terminal domains form the hexameric rings and the carboxy-terminal dimerization domains connect each ring to six neighbours. We propose a molecular model for the HIV-1 capsid that follows the principles of a fullerene cone, in which the body of the cone is composed of curved hexagonal arrays of CA rings and the ends are closed by inclusion of 12 pentagonal 'defects'.Nature 10/2000; 407(6802):409-13. · 36.28 Impact Factor