(1/156) The role of Pr55(gag) in the annealing of tRNA3Lys to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 genomic RNA.

During human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) assembly, the primer tRNA for the reverse transcriptase-catalyzed synthesis of minus-strand strong-stop cDNA, tRNA3Lys, is selectively packaged into the virus and annealed onto the primer binding site on the RNA genome. Annealing of tRNA3Lys in HIV-1 is independent of polyprotein processing and is facilitated in vitro by p7 nucleocapsid (NCp7). We have previously shown that mutations in clusters of basic amino acids flanking the first Cys-His box in NC sequence inhibit annealing of tRNA3Lys in vivo by 70 to 80%. In this report, we have investigated whether these NC mutations act through Pr55(gag) or Pr160(gag-pol). In vivo placement of tRNA3Lys is measured with total viral RNA as the source of primer tRNA-template in an in vitro reverse transcription assay. Cotransfection of COS cells with a plasmid coding for either mutant Pr55(gag) or mutant Pr160(gag-pol), and with a plasmid containing HIV-1 proviral DNA, shows that only the NC mutations in Pr55(gag) inhibit tRNA3Lys placement. The NC mutations in Pr55(gag) reduce viral infectivity by 95% and are trans-dominant-negative, i.e., they inhibit genomic placement of tRNA3Lys even in the presence of wild-type Pr55(gag). This dominant phenotype may indicate that the mutant Pr55(gag) is disrupting an ordered Pr55(gag) structure responsible for the annealing of tRNA3Lys to genomic RNA.  (+info)

(2/156) In vitro induction of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 variants resistant to phosphoralaninate prodrugs of Z-methylenecyclopropane nucleoside analogues.

Two methylenecyclopropane nucleoside analogues with a phenylphosphoralaninate moiety, QYL-685 and QYL-609, exert potent and specific activities against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 strain LAI (HIV-1(LAI)) and HIV-2 in vitro. In this study, we induced HIV-1 variants resistant to QYL-685 by exposing HIV-1(LAI) to increasing concentrations of QYL-685. After 16 passages, the virus (HIV-1(P16)) was less sensitive to QYL-685 (104-fold), QYL-609 (>41-fold), and (-)-beta-2',3'-dideoxy-3'-thiacytidine (3TC) (>1, 100-fold) than was HIV-1(LAI) and contained an M184I mutation. Two infectious clones, HIV-1(M184I) and HIV-1(M184V), were resistant to QYL-685, QYL-609, and 3TC, confirming that the M184I mutation was responsible for the observed resistance. Viral-fitness analyses (competitive HIV-1 replication assays) revealed that in the absence of drugs, M184I and M184V conferred a replication disadvantage on the virus compared to the replication efficiency of the wild-type infectious clone (HIV-1(wt)). However, in the presence of QYL-685 (4 microM), HIV-1(M184I) and HIV-1(M184V) showed greater fitness than HIV-1(wt). These data may provide structural and virological relevance with regard to the emergence of M184I and M184V substitutions in HIV-1.  (+info)

(3/156) Comparison of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Pr55(Gag) and Pr160(Gag-pol) processing intermediates that accumulate in primary and transformed cells treated with peptidic and nonpeptidic protease inhibitors.

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) produces two polyproteins, Pr55(Gag) and Pr160(Gag-Pol), that are cleaved into mature functional subunits by the virally encoded protease. Drugs that inhibit this protease are an important part of anti-HIV therapy. We studied the ordered accumulation of Gag and Gag-Pol processing intermediates by variably blocking the protease with HIV-1 protease inhibitors (PIs). Variable protease inhibition caused accumulation of a complex pattern of processing intermediates, which was the same after incubating HIV-1-infected cells with increasing concentrations of either one of the peptidomimetic inhibitors indinavir, saquinavir (SQV), ritonavir (RTV), nelfinavir, and SC-52151 or one of the nonpeptidomimetic inhibitors DMP450, DMP323, PNU-140135, and PNU-109112 for 3 days. The patterns of Gag and Gag-Pol processing intermediate accumulation were nearly identical when the following were compared: cell- versus virion-associated proteins, HIV-1-infected transformed cell lines versus primary human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and HIV-1(MN) versus HIV-1(IIIB) virus strains. RTV was a more potent inhibitor of p24 production in PBMCs than SQV by approximately 7-fold, whereas SQV was a more potent inhibitor in transformed cells than RTV by approximately 30-fold. Although the antiretroviral potency of HIV-1 PIs may change as a function of cell type, the polyprotein intermediates that accumulate with increasing drug concentrations are the same. These results support sequential processing of Gag and Gag-Pol polyproteins by the HIV-1 protease and may have important implications for understanding common cross-resistance pathways.  (+info)

(4/156) Identification of a key target sequence to block human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication within the gag-pol transframe domain.

Although the full sequence of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) genome has been known for more than a decade, effective genetic antivirals have yet to be developed. Here we show that, of 22 regions examined, one highly conserved sequence (ACTCTTTGGCAACGA) near the 3' end of the HIV-1 gag-pol transframe region, encoding viral protease residues 4 to 8 and a C-terminal Vpr-binding motif of p6(Gag) protein in two different reading frames, can be successfully targeted by an antisense peptide nucleic acid oligomer named PNA(PR2). A disrupted translation of gag-pol mRNA induced at the PNA(PR2)-annealing site resulted in a decreased synthesis of Pr160(Gag-Pol) polyprotein, hence the viral protease, a predominant expression of Pr55(Gag) devoid of a fully functional p6(Gag) protein, and the excessive intracellular cleavage of Gag precursor proteins, hindering the processes of virion assembly. Treatment with PNA(PR2) abolished virion production by up to 99% in chronically HIV-1-infected H9 cells and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells infected with clinical HIV-1 isolates with the multidrug-resistant phenotype. This particular segment of the gag-pol transframe gene appears to offer a distinctive advantage over other regions in invading viral structural genes and restraining HIV-1 replication in infected cells and may potentially be exploited as a novel antiviral genetic target.  (+info)

(5/156) Antiviral agent based on the non-structural protein targeting the maturation process of HIV-1: expression and susceptibility of chimeric Vpr as a substrate for cleavage by HIV-1 protease.

The processing of precursor proteins (Gag and Gag-pol) by the viral protease is absolutely required in order to generate infectious particles. This prompted us to consider novel strategies that target viral maturation. Towards this end, we have engineered an HIV-1 virion associated protein, Vpr, to contain protease cleavage signal sequences from Gag and Gag-pol precursor proteins. We previously reported that virus particles derived from HIV-1 proviral DNA, encoding chimeric Vpr, showed a lack of infectivity, depending on the fusion partner. As an extension of that work, the potential of chimeric Vpr as a substrate for HIV-1 protease was tested utilizing an epitope-based assay. Chimeric Vpr molecules were modified such that the Flag epitope is removed following cleavage, thus allowing us to determine the efficiency of protease cleavage. Following incubation with the protease, the resultant products were analyzed by radioimmunoprecipitation using antibodies directed against the Flag epitope. Densitometric analysis of the autoradiograms showed processing to be both rapid and specific. Further, the analysis of virus particles containing chimeric Vpr by immunoblot showed reactivities to antibodies against the Flag epitope similar to the data observed in vitro. These results suggest that the pseudosubstrate approach may provide another avenue for developing antiviral agents.  (+info)

(6/156) Incorporation of lysyl-tRNA synthetase into human immunodeficiency virus type 1.

During human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) assembly, tRNA(Lys) isoacceptors are selectively incorporated into virions and tRNA(Lys)3 is used as the primer for reverse transcription. We show herein that the tRNA(Lys)-binding protein, lysyl-tRNA synthetase (LysRS), is also selectively packaged into HIV-1. The viral precursor protein Pr55gag alone will package LysRS into Pr55gag particles, independently of tRNA(Lys). With the additional presence of the viral precursor protein Pr160gag-pol, tRNA(Lys) and LysRS are both packaged into the particle. While the predominant cytoplasmic LysRS has an apparent M(r) of 70,000, viral LysRS associated with tRNA(Lys) packaging is shorter, with an apparent M(r) of 63,000. The truncation occurs independently of viral protease and might be required to facilitate interactions involved in the selective packaging and genomic placement of primer tRNA.  (+info)

(7/156) Local and spatial factors determining HIV-1 protease substrate recognition.

Insertional mutagenesis of the Escherichia coli thymidylate synthase (TS) was used to address substrate recognition of HIV-1 protease in a well characterized structural context. By modifying the TS conformation while maintaining its enzymic activity, we investigated the influence of protein folding on protease-substrate recognition. A slight destabilization of the TS structure permitted the cleavage of a target site, which was resistant in the native TS. This result supports a dynamic interpretation of HIV-1 protease specificity. Exposure time of the potential cleavage site, which depends on the stability of the global conformation, must be compatible with the cleavage kinetics, which are determined by the local sequence. Cleavage specificity has been described as the consequence of cumulative interactions, globally favourable, between at least six amino acids around the cleavage site. To investigate influence of local sequence, we introduced insertions of variable lengths in two exposed loops of the TS. In both environments, insertion of only two amino acids could determine specific cleavage. We then inserted libraries of dipeptides naturally cleaved by the HIV-1 protease in order to assess the limitations of established classifications of substrates in different conformational contexts.  (+info)

(8/156) Generation of genome-wide CD8 T cell responses in HLA-A*0201 transgenic mice by an HIV-1 ubiquitin expression library immunization vaccine.

HIV-1 is a fundamentally difficult target for vaccines due to its high mutation rate and its repertoire of immunoevasive strategies. To address these difficulties, a multivalent, proteasome-targeted, live genetic vaccine was recently developed against HIV-1 using the expression library immunization approach. In this HIV-1 vaccine all open reading frames of HIV-1 are expressed from 32 plasmids as Ag fragments fused to the ubiquitin protein to increase Ag targeting to the proteasome to enhance CTL responses. In this work we demonstrate the ability of the HIV-1 library vaccine to simultaneously provoke robust HLA-A*0201-restricted T cell responses against all 32 HIV-1 library vaccine Ags after single immunization by gene gun. These CD8 T cell responses included HLA-A*0201-restricted CTL activity, CD8/IFN-gamma T cell responses, and HLA tetramer binding against defined immunodominant epitopes in gag, pol, env, and nef as well as potent CD8/IFN-gamma responses against undefined HLA-A*0201-restricted epitopes in all remaining Ags of the library. CD8 responses mediated by single gag, pol, env, and nef plasmids from the vaccine demonstrated little reduction in specific T cell responses when these plasmids were diluted into the context of the full 32-plasmid library, suggesting that Ag dominance or immune interference is not an overt problem to limit the efficacy of this complex vaccine. Therefore, this work demonstrates the ability of the HIV-1 library vaccine to generate robust multivalent genome-wide T cell responses as one approach to control the highly mutable and immunoevasive HIV-1 virus.  (+info)