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      The Nucleocapsid Region of HIV-1 Gag Cooperates with the PTAP and LYPX nL Late Domains to Recruit the Cellular Machinery Necessary for Viral Budding

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          HIV-1 release is mediated through two motifs in the p6 region of Gag, PTAP and LYPX nL, which recruit cellular proteins Tsg101 and Alix, respectively. The Nucleocapsid region of Gag (NC), which binds the Bro1 domain of Alix, also plays an important role in HIV-1 release, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here we show that the first 202 residues of the Bro1 domain (Bro i) are sufficient to bind Gag. Bro i interferes with HIV-1 release in an NC–dependent manner and arrests viral budding at the plasma membrane. Similar interrupted budding structures are seen following over-expression of a fragment containing Bro1 with the adjacent V domain (Bro1-V). Although only Bro1-V contains binding determinants for CHMP4, both Bro i and Bro1-V inhibited release via both the PTAP/Tsg101 and the LYPX nL/Alix pathways, suggesting that they interfere with a key step in HIV-1 release. Remarkably, we found that over-expression of Bro1 rescued the release of HIV-1 lacking both L domains. This rescue required the N-terminal region of the NC domain in Gag and the CHMP4 binding site in Bro1. Interestingly, release defects due to mutations in NC that prevented Bro1 mediated rescue of virus egress were rescued by providing a link to the ESCRT machinery via Nedd4.2s over-expression. Our data support a model in which NC cooperates with PTAP in the recruitment of cellular proteins necessary for its L domain activity and binds the Bro1–CHMP4 complex required for LYPX nL–mediated budding.

          Author Summary

          Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) assembles its structural protein Gag into a viral shell at the plasma membrane. Gag is divided into several regions, each with its own distinct function(s). Within the p6 region of Gag, there are two short peptide sequences, called Late (L) domains, that serve to recruit cellular proteins Tsg101 and Alix. In an uninfected cell, these proteins facilitate membrane dynamics during vesicle budding into cellular compartments called endosomes. Upon infection, HIV-1 hijacks these proteins and makes use of the machinery to facilitate viral budding at the plasma membrane. Our study shows that, in addition to binding the p6 region, Alix also interacts with the Nucleocapsid (NC) region of Gag. Importantly, we show that when HIV-1 buds via the Alix-driven pathway, this interaction with NC is essential for recruiting host proteins necessary for HIV-1 release. Moreover, we show that a non-functional fragment of Alix inhibits Tsg101-mediated HIV-1 release in ways similar to those caused by mutations in the NC domain of Gag. Collectively, our findings favor a model in which the p6-located L domain motifs require cooperation with NC to facilitate HIV-1 release.

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          Most cited references 83

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          Membrane curvature and mechanisms of dynamic cell membrane remodelling.

          Membrane curvature is no longer seen as a passive consequence of cellular activity but an active means to create membrane domains and to organize centres for membrane trafficking. Curvature can be dynamically modulated by changes in lipid composition, the oligomerization of curvature scaffolding proteins and the reversible insertion of protein regions that act like wedges in membranes. There is an interplay between curvature-generating and curvature-sensing proteins during vesicle budding. This is seen during vesicle budding and in the formation of microenvironments. On a larger scale, membrane curvature is a prime player in growth, division and movement.
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            We constructed an infectious molecular clone of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-associated retrovirus. Upon transfection, this clone directed the production of infectious virus particles in a wide variety of cells in addition to human T4 cells. The progeny, infectious virions, were synthesized in mouse, mink, monkey, and several human non-T cell lines, indicating the absence of any intracellular obstacle to viral RNA or protein production or assembly. During the course of these studies, a human colon carcinoma cell line, exquisitely sensitive to DNA transfection, was identified.
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              Tsg101 and the vacuolar protein sorting pathway are essential for HIV-1 budding.

              Like other enveloped viruses, HIV-1 uses cellular machinery to bud from infected cells. We now show that Tsg101 protein, which functions in vacuolar protein sorting (Vps), is required for HIV-1 budding. The UEV domain of Tsg101 binds to an essential tetrapeptide (PTAP) motif within the p6 domain of the structural Gag protein and also to ubiquitin. Depletion of cellular Tsg101 by small interfering RNA arrests HIV-1 budding at a late stage, and budding is rescued by reintroduction of Tsg101. Dominant negative mutant Vps4 proteins that inhibit vacuolar protein sorting also arrest HIV-1 and MLV budding. These observations suggest that retroviruses bud by appropriating cellular machinery normally used in the Vps pathway to form multivesicular bodies.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS Pathog
                PLoS Pathogens
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                March 2009
                March 2009
                13 March 2009
                : 5
                : 3
                [1 ]Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America
                [2 ]SAIC at NCI-Frederick, Frederick, Maryland, United States of America
                King's College London School of Medicine, United Kingdom
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: VD FB. Performed the experiments: VD MPJ GAJ JAJ. Analyzed the data: VD FB. Wrote the paper: FB. Performed electron microscopy experiments: JdlC KN.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Public Domain declaration which stipulates that, once placed in the public domain, this work may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose.
                Pages: 17
                Research Article
                Virology/Immunodeficiency Viruses
                Virology/Virion Structure, Assembly, and Egress

                Infectious disease & Microbiology


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