Drug targeting of HIV-1 RNA.DNA hybrid structures: thermodynamics of recognition and impact on reverse transcriptase-mediated ribonuclease H activity and viral replication.
ABSTRACT RNA degradation via the ribonuclease H (RNase H) activity of human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1) reverse transcriptase (RT) is a critical component of the reverse transcription process. In this connection, mutations of RT that inactivate RNase H activity result in noninfectious virus particles. Thus, interfering with the RNase H activity of RT represents a potential vehicle for the inhibition of HIV-1 replication. Here, we demonstrate an approach for inhibiting the RNase H activity of HIV-1 RT by targeting its RNA.DNA hybrid substrates. Specifically, we show that the binding of the 4,5-disubstituted 2-deoxystreptamine aminoglycosides, neomycin, paromomycin, and ribostamycin, to two different chimeric RNA-DNA duplexes, which mimic two distinct intermediates in the reverse transcription process, inhibits specific RT-mediated RNase H cleavage, with this inhibition being competitive in nature. UV melting and isothermal titration calorimetry studies reveal a correlation between the relative binding affinities of the three drugs for each of the chimeric RNA-DNA host duplexes and the relative extents to which the drugs inhibit RT-mediated RNase H cleavage of the duplexes. Significantly, this correlation also extends to the relative efficacies with which the drugs inhibit HIV-1 replication. In the aggregate, our results highlight a potential strategy for AIDS chemotherapy that should not be compromised by the unusual genetic diversity of HIV-1.
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ABSTRACT: During (−)-strand DNA synthesis in retroviruses and Saccharomyces cerevisiae LTR retrotransposons, a purine rich region of the RNA template, known as the polypurine tract (PPT), is resistant to RNase H-mediated hydrolysis and subsequently serves as a primer for (+)-strand, DNA-dependent DNA synthesis. Although HIV-1 and Ty3 PPT sequences share no sequence similarity beyond the fact that both include runs of purine ribonucleotides, it has been suggested that these PPTs are processed by their cognate reverse transcriptases (RTs) through a common molecular mechanism. Here, we have used the aminoglycoside neomycin B (NB) to examine which structural features of the Ty3 PPT contribute to specific recognition and processing by its cognate RT. Using high-resolution NMR, direct infusion FTICR mass spectrometry, and isothermal titration calorimetry, we show that NB binds preferentially and selectively adjacent to the Ty3 3′ PPT−U3 cleavage junction and in an upstream 5′ region where the thumb subdomain of Ty3 RT putatively grips the substrate. Regions highlighted by NB on the Ty3 PPT are similar to those previously identified on the HIV-1 PPT sequence that are implicated as contact points for substrate binding by its RT. Our findings thus support the notion that common structural features of lentiviral and LTR-retrotransposon PPTs facilitate the interaction with their cognate RT.Biochemistry 07/2009; 48(29). · 3.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) provides a sensitive and accurate means by which to study the thermodynamics of RNA folding, RNA binding to small molecules, and RNA-protein interactions. The advent of extremely sensitive instrumentation and the increasing availability of ITC in shared facilities have made it increasingly valuable as a tool for RNA biochemistry. As an isothermal measurement, it allows analysis at a defined temperature, distinguishing it from thermal melting approaches (UV melting and differential scanning calorimetry, for instance) that provide thermodynamic information specific to the melting temperature. Residual structures at low temperature in the unfolded state and heat capacity changes lead to potential differences between thermodynamic values measured by ITC and those derived from melting studies. This article describes how ITC can be put to use in the study of RNA biochemistry.Methods in enzymology 01/2009; 468:409-22. · 1.90 Impact Factor