The pyrophosphate analogue foscarnet traps the pre-translocational state of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase in a Brownian ratchet model of polymerase translocation.
ABSTRACT The pyrophosphate (PPi) analogue phosphonoformic acid (PFA or foscarnet) inhibits the reverse transcriptase (RT) of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1); however, the mechanisms of drug action and resistance remain elusive. Here we studied the effects of the translocational status of HIV-1 RT on drug binding and inhibition of DNA synthesis. We identified "hot spots" for inhibition during active elongation. Site-specific footprinting analyses revealed that the corresponding complexes exist predominantly in the pre-translocational state. The sensitivity to PFA is significantly reduced with sequences that show a bias toward the post-translocational state. Binding studies showed that PFA stabilizes selectively the complex in the pre-translocated configuration. These findings are consistent with a Brownian ratchet model of polymerase translocation. The enzyme can rapidly shuttle between pre- and post-translocated states. The bound inhibitor acts like a pawl of a ratchet and prevents the forward motion of HIV-1 RT, whereas the bound nucleotide binds to the post-translocated complex and prevents the reverse motion. The proposed mechanisms of RT translocation and drug action are consistent with the PFA-resistant phenotypes. We show that certain sequences and the PFA-resistant E89K mutant diminishes the stability of the pre-translocated complex. In these cases, the enzyme is seen at multiple positions around the 3' end of the primer, which provides a novel mechanism for resistance. These findings validate the pre-translocated complex as a target for the development of novel, perhaps less toxic and more potent inhibitors that block HIV-1 RT translocation.
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ABSTRACT: Nucleotide-competing reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NcRTIs) were shown to bind reversibly to the nucleotide-binding site of the RT enzyme of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Here we show that the presence of ATP can enhance the inhibitory effects of the prototype compound INDOPY-1. We employed a combination of cell-free and cell-based assays to shed light on the underlying molecular mechanism. Binding studies and site-specific footprinting experiments demonstrate the existence of a stable quaternary complex with HIV-1 RT, its nucleic acid substrate, INDOPY-1, and ATP. The complex is frozen in the post-translocational state that usually accommodates the incoming nucleotide substrate. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies show that both the base and the phosphate moieties of ATP are elements that play important roles in enhancing the inhibitory effects of INDOPY-1. In vitro susceptibility measurements with mutant viruses containing amino acid substitutions K70G, V75T, L228R and K219R in the putative ATP binding pocket revealed unexpectedly a hypersusceptible phenotype with respect to INDOPY-1. The same mutational cluster was previously shown to reduce susceptibility to the pyrophosphate analogue phosphonoformic acid (PFA). However, in the absence of INDOPY-1, ATP can bind and act as a pyrophosphate donor under conditions that favor formation of the pre-translocated RT complex. We therefore conclude that the mutant enzyme facilitates simultaneous binding of INDOPY-1 and ATP to the post-translocated complex. Based on this data, we propose a model in which the bound ATP traps the inhibitor, which, in turn, compromises its dissociation.Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Multisubunit RNA polymerase (RNAP) is the central information-processing enzyme in all cellular life forms, yet its mechanism of translocation along the DNA molecule remains conjectural. Here, we report direct monitoring of bacterial RNAP translocation following the addition of a single nucleotide. Time-resolved measurements demonstrated that translocation is delayed relative to nucleotide incorporation and occurs shortly after or concurrently with pyrophosphate release. An investigation of translocation equilibrium suggested that the strength of interactions between RNA 3' nucleotide and nucleophilic and substrate sites determines the translocation state of transcription elongation complexes, whereas active site opening and closure modulate the affinity of the substrate site, thereby favoring the post- and pre-translocated states, respectively. The RNAP translocation mechanism is exploited by the antibiotic tagetitoxin, which mimics pyrophosphate and induces backward translocation by closing the active site.Nucleic Acids Research 05/2012; 40(15):7442-51. · 8.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: During the retrotranscription process, characteristic of all retroviruses, the viral ssRNA genome is converted into integration-competent dsDNA. This process is accomplished by the virus-coded reverse transcriptase (RT) protein, which is a primary target in the current treatments for HIV-1 infection. In particular, in the approved therapeutic regimens two classes of drugs target RT, namely, nucleoside RT inhibitors (NRTIs) and nonnucleoside RT inhibitors (NNRTIs). Both classes inhibit the RT-associated polymerase activity: the NRTIs compete with the natural dNTP substrate and act as chain terminators, while the NNRTIs bind to an allosteric pocket and inhibit polymerization noncompetitively. In addition to these two classes, other RT inhibitors (RTIs) that target RT by distinct mechanisms have been identified and are currently under development. These include translocation-defective RTIs, delayed chain terminators RTIs, lethal mutagenesis RTIs, dinucleotide tetraphosphates, nucleotide-competing RTIs, pyrophosphate analogs, RT-associated RNase H function inhibitors, and dual activities inhibitors. This paper describes the HIV-1 RT function and molecular structure, illustrates the currently approved RTIs, and focuses on the mechanisms of action of the newer classes of RTIs.Molecular biology international. 01/2012; 2012:586401.