Local Conformational Stability of HIV-1 gp120 in Unliganded and CD4-Bound States as Defined by Amide Hydrogen/Deuterium Exchange
The binding reaction of the HIV-1 gp120 envelope glycoprotein to the CD4 receptor involves exceptional changes in enthalpy and entropy. Crystal structures of gp120 in unliganded and various ligand-bound states, meanwhile, reveal an inner domain able to fold into diverse conformations, a structurally invariant outer domain, and, in the CD4-bound state, a bridging sheet minidomain. These studies, however, provide only hints as to the flexibility of each state. Here we use amide hydrogen/deuterium exchange coupled to mass spectrometry to provide quantifications of local conformational stability for HIV-1 gp120 in unliganded and CD4-bound states. On average, unliganded core gp120 displayed >10,000-fold slower exchange of backbone-amide hydrogens than a theoretically unstructured protein of the same composition, with binding by CD4 reducing the rate of gp120 amide exchange a further 10-fold. For the structurally constant CD4, alterations in exchange correlated well with alterations in binding surface (P value = 0.0004). For the structurally variable gp120, however, reductions in flexibility extended outside the binding surface, and regions of expected high structural diversity (inner domain/bridging sheet) displayed roughly 20-fold more rapid exchange in the unliganded state than regions of low diversity (outer domain). Thus, despite an extraordinary reduction in entropy, neither unliganded gp120 nor free CD4 was substantially unstructured, suggesting that most of the diverse conformations that make up the gp120 unliganded state are reasonably ordered. The results provide a framework for understanding how local conformational stability influences entropic change, conformational diversity, and structural rearrangements in the gp120-CD4 binding reaction.
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[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protein stability is a topic of major interest for the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and food industries, in addition to being a daily consideration for academic researchers studying proteins. An understanding of protein stability is essential for optimizing the expression, purification, formulation, storage and structural studies of proteins. In this review, discussion will focus on factors affecting protein stability, on a somewhat practical level, particularly from the view of a protein crystallographer. The differences between protein conformational stability and protein compositional stability will be discussed, along with a brief introduction to key methods useful for analyzing protein stability. Finally, tactics for addressing protein-stability issues during protein expression, purification and crystallization will be discussed.
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[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The fusion glycoproteins that decorate the surface of enveloped viruses undergo dramatic conformational changes in the course of engaging with target cells through receptor interactions and during cell entry. These refolding events ultimately drive the fusion of viral and cellular membranes leading to delivery of the genetic cargo. While well-established methods for structure determination such as X-ray crystallography have provided detailed structures of fusion proteins in the pre- and post-fusion fusion states, to understand mechanistically how these fusion glycoproteins perform their structural calisthenics and drive membrane fusion requires new analytical approaches that enable dynamic intermediate states to be probed. Methods including structural mass spectrometry, small-angle X-ray scattering, and electron microscopy have begun to provide new insight into pathways of conformational change and fusion protein function. In combination, the approaches provide a significantly richer portrait of viral fusion glycoprotein structural variation and fusion activation as well as inhibition by neutralizing agents. Here recent studies that highlight the utility of these complementary approaches will be reviewed with a focus on the well-characterized influenza virus hemagglutinin fusion glycoprotein system.
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[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HIV-1 infection of target cells is mediated via the binding of the viral envelope protein, gp120, to the cell surface receptor CD4. This interaction leads to conformational rearrangements in gp120 forming or revealing CD4 induced (CD4i) epitopes which are critical for the subsequent recognition of the co-receptor required for viral entry. The CD4-bound state of gp120 has been considered a potential immunogen for HIV-1 vaccine development. Here we report on an alternative means to induce gp120 into the CD4i conformation. Combinatorial phage display peptide libraries were screened against HIV-1 gp120 and short (14aa) peptides were selected that bind the viral envelope and allosterically induce the CD4i conformation. The lead peptide was subsequently systematically optimized for higher affinity as well as more efficient inductive activity. The peptide:gp120 complex was scrutinized with a panel of neutralizing anti-gp120 monoclonal antibodies and CD4 itself, illustrating that peptide binding does not interfere with or obscure the CD4 binding site. Two surfaces of gp120 are considered targets for the development of cross neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1; the CD4 binding site and CD4i epitopes. By implementing novel peptides that allosterically induce the CD4i epitopes we have generated a viral envelope that presents both of these surfaces simultaneously.
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