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(1/1167) Biophysical characterization of the structure of the amino-terminal region of gp41 of HIV-1. Implications on viral fusion mechanism.

A peptide of 51 amino acids corresponding to the NH2-terminal region (5-55) of the glycoprotein gp41 of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 was synthesized to study its conformation and assembly. Nuclear magnetic resonance experiments indicated the sequence NH2-terminal to the leucine zipper-like domain of gp41 was induced into helix in the micellar solution, in agreement with circular dichroism data. Light scattering experiment showed that the peptide molecules self-assembled in water into trimeric structure on average. That the peptide molecules oligomerize in aqueous solution was supported by gel filtration and diffusion coefficient experiments. Molecular dynamics simulation based on the NMR data revealed a flexible region adjacent to the hydrophobic NH2 terminus of gp41. The biological significance of the present findings on the conformational flexibility and the propensity of oligomerization of the peptide may be envisioned by a proposed model for the interaction of gp41 with membranes during fusion process.  (+info)

(2/1167) Human immunodeficiency virus-1-infected macrophages induce inducible nitric oxide synthase and nitric oxide (NO) production in astrocytes: astrocytic NO as a possible mediator of neural damage in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role in normal neural cell function. Dysregulated or overexpression of NO contributes to neurologic damage associated with various pathologies, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated neurological disease. Previous studies suggest that HIV-infected monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) produce low levels of NO in vitro and that inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is expressed in the brain of patients with neurologic disease. However, the levels of NO could not account for the degree of neural toxicity observed. In this study, we found that induction of iNOS with concomitant production of NO occurred in primary human astrocytes, but not in MDM, when astrocytes were cocultured with HIV-1-infected MDM. This coincided with decreased HIV replication in infected MDM. Supernatants from cocultures of infected MDM and astrocytes also stimulated iNOS/NO expression in astrocytes, but cytokines known to induce iNOS expression (interferon-gamma, interleukin-1beta, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha) were not detected. In addition, the recombinant HIV-1 envelope protein gp41, but not rgp120, induced iNOS in cocultures of uninfected MDM and astrocytes. This suggests that astrocytes may be an important source of NO production due to dysregulated iNOS expression and may constitute one arm of the host response resulting in suppression of HIV-1 replication in the brain. It also leads us to speculate that neurologic damage observed in HIV disease may ensue from prolonged, high level production of NO.  (+info)

(3/1167) Subdomain folding and biological activity of the core structure from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 gp41: implications for viral membrane fusion.

The envelope glycoprotein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) consists of two subunits, gp120 and gp41. The extraviral portion (ectodomain) of gp41 contains an alpha-helical domain that likely represents the core of the fusion-active conformation of the molecule. Here we report the identification and characterization of a minimal, autonomous folding subdomain that retains key determinants in specifying the overall fold of the gp41 ectodomain core. This subdomain, designated N34(L6)C28, is formed by covalent attachment of peptides N-34 and C-28 by a short flexible linker in place of the normal disulfide-bonded loop sequence. N34(L6)C28 forms a highly thermostable, alpha-helical trimer. Point mutations within the envelope protein complex that abolish membrane fusion and HIV-1 infectivity also impede the formation of the N34(L6)C28 core. Moreover, N34(L6)C28 is capable of inhibiting HIV-1 envelope-mediated membrane fusion. Taken together, these results indicate that the N34(L6)C28 core plays a direct role in the membrane fusion step of HIV-1 infection and thus provides a molecular target for the development of antiviral pharmaceutical agents.  (+info)

(4/1167) Rate and severity of HIV-associated dementia (HAD): correlations with Gp41 and iNOS.

BACKGROUND: Fifteen to thirty percent of AIDS patients develop some type of neurologic disorder during the course of their illness and the vast majority of these neurologic disorders will be HIV-associated dementia (HAD). These patients can exhibit varying degrees of severity and rates of progression of HAD. Neuropathologic variables that are associated with the rate of progression of HAD are not known. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Tissue was collected at autopsy from the Johns Hopkins University HIV Neurology Program. Seventy-one AIDS patients of this prospectively characterized population were followed until death to obtain information on dementia severity and the rate of neurological progression. Immunoblot analysis of immunological nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), HAM56, gp41, p24, gp120, and beta-tubulin was performed and the levels of iNOS, HAM56, gp41, and p24 were normalized to beta-tubulin and analyzed for significance by means of the Kruskal-Wallis test for multiple groups. RESULTS: We have identified unique groups within this spectrum and designated them slow, moderate, and rapid progressors. Slow and moderate progressors' neurological progression occurs over a course of months to years, whereas the rapid progressors' disease shows rapid increases in severity over weeks to months. In the present study we demonstrate that the severity and rate of progression of HAD correlates significantly with levels of the HIV-1 coat protein, gp41, iNOS, and HAM56, a marker of microglial/macrophage activation. CONCLUSION: The severity and rate of progression of HAD correlates with indices of immune activation as well as levels of iNOS and gp41. There appears to be a threshold effect in which high levels of gp41, iNOS, and immune activation are particularly associated with severe (Memorial Sloan-Kettering score 3 to 4) and rapidly progressive HAD.  (+info)

(5/1167) Membrane interactions of the synthetic N-terminal peptide of HIV-1 gp41 and its structural analogs.

Structural and functional studies assessed the membrane actions of the N terminus of HIV-1 glycoprotein 41000 (gp41). Earlier site-directed mutagenesis has shown that key amino acid changes in this gp41 domain inhibit viral infection and syncytia formation. Here, a synthetic peptide corresponding to the N terminus of gp41 (FP; 23 residues, 519-541), and also FP analogs (FP520V/E with Val-->Glu at residue 520; FP527L/R with Leu-->Arg at 527; FP529F/Y with Phe-->Tyr at 529; and FPCLP1 with FP truncated at 525) incorporating these modifications were prepared. When added to human erythrocytes at physiologic pH, the lytic and aggregating activities of the FP analogs were much reduced over those with the wild-type FP. With resealed human erythrocyte ghosts, the lipid-mixing activities of the FP analogs were also substantially depressed over that with the wild-type FP. Combined with results from earlier studies, theoretical calculations using hydrophobic moment plot analysis and physical experiments using circular dichroism and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy indicate that the diminished lysis and fusion noted for FP analogs may be due to altered peptide-membrane lipid interactions. These data confirm that the N-terminal gp41 domain plays critical roles in the cytolysis and fusion underlying HIV-cell infection.  (+info)

(6/1167) T21/DP107, A synthetic leucine zipper-like domain of the HIV-1 envelope gp41, attracts and activates human phagocytes by using G-protein-coupled formyl peptide receptors.

A leucine zipper-like domain, T21/DP107, located in the amino terminus of the ectodomain of gp41, is crucial to the formation of fusogenic configuration of the HIV-1 envelope protein gp41. We report that the synthetic T21/DP107 segment is a potent stimulant of migration and calcium mobilization in human monocytes and neutrophils. The activity of T21/DP107 on phagocytes was pertussis toxin-sensitive, suggesting this peptide uses Gi-coupled seven-transmembrane receptor(s). Since the bacterial chemotactic peptide fMLP partially desensitized the calcium-mobilizing activity of T21/DP107 in phagocytes, we postulated that T21/DP107 might preferentially use a lower affinity fMLP receptor. By using cells transfected to express cloned prototype chemotactic N-formyl peptide receptor (FPR) or its variant, FPR-like 1 (FPRL1), we demonstrate that T21/DP107 activates both receptors but has a much higher efficacy for FPRL1. In addition, T21/DP107 at nM concentrations induced migration of FPRL1-transfected human embryonic kidney 293 cells. In contrast, fMLP did not induce significant chemotaxis of the same cells at a concentration as high as 50 microM. Although a lipid metabolite, lipoxin A4, was a high-affinity ligand for FPRL1, it was not reported to induce Ca2+ mobilization or chemotaxis in FPRL1-transfected cells. Therefore, T21/DP107 is a first chemotactic peptide agonist identified thus far for FPRL1. Our results suggest that this peptide domain of the HIV-1 gp41 may have the potential to activate host innate immune response by interacting with FPR and FPRL1 on phagocytes.  (+info)

(7/1167) Polarized human immunodeficiency virus budding in lymphocytes involves a tyrosine-based signal and favors cell-to-cell viral transmission.

Maturation and release of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is targeted at the pseudopod of infected mononuclear cells. However, the intracellular mechanism or targeting signals leading to this polarized viral maturation are yet to be identified. We have recently demonstrated the presence of a functional YXXL motif for specific targeting of HIV-1 virions to the basolateral membrane surface in polarized epithelial Madin-Darby canine kidney cells (MDCK). Site-directed mutagenesis was used to demonstrate that the membrane-proximal tyrosine in the intracytoplasmic tail of the HIV-1 transmembrane glycoprotein (gp41) is an essential component of this signal. In the present study, immunolocalization of viral budding allowed us to establish that this tyrosine-based signal is involved in determining the exact site of viral release at the surface of infected mononuclear cells. Substitution of the critical tyrosine residue was also shown to increase the amount of envelope glycoprotein at the cell surface, supporting previous suggestions that the tyrosine-based motif can promote endocytosis. Although alteration of the dual polarization-endocytosis motif did not affect the infectivity of cell-free virus, it could play a key role in cell-to-cell viral transmission. Accordingly, chronically infected lymphocytes showed a reduced ability to transmit the mutant virus to a cocultivated cell line. Overall, our data indicate that the YXXL targeting motif of HIV is active in various cell types and could play an important role in viral propagation; this may constitute an alternative target for HIV therapeutics and vaccine development.  (+info)

(8/1167) Engineering of noninfectious HIV-1-like particles containing mutant gp41 glycoproteins as vaccine candidates that allow vaccinees to be distinguished from HIV-1 infectees.

Many AIDS vaccine candidates under development may elicit immune responses similar to those observed in and used to screen human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals. Therefore, it is important to develop vaccine candidates that incorporate antigenic markers and allow vaccinees to be distinguished from HIV-1 infectees. To this end, we introduced a series of mutations into and in the vicinity of the major immunodominant region (MIR) of gp41 (residues 598-609), a domain recognized by almost all HIV-1 infectees, and evaluated whether HIV-1-like particles incorporating such mutant glycoproteins could be expressed in mammalian cells. Results indicated that although up to three consecutive amino acids could be replaced within MIR without significantly affecting particle formation or gp160 processing, deletions within MIR impaired envelope processing. Replacement of HIV-1 MIR by part or most of the corresponding domain from other lentiviruses markedly decreased or abolished gp160 processing. Synthetic peptides corresponding to a mutated MIR incorporating three amino acid replacements were not recognized by a panel of sera from HIV-1 infectees, suggesting that HIV-1-like particles with this type of mutation represent potential candidate vaccines that could allow vaccinees to be distinguished from HIV-1 infectees.  (+info)