Structural consequences of cyclophilin A binding on maturational refolding in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 capsid

Dietrich, Lars; Ehrlich, Lorna S.; LaGrassa, Tracy J.; Ebbets-Reed, Dana; Carter, Carol

While several cellular proteins are incorporated in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 virion, cyclophilin (CyP) A is the only one whose absence has been demonstrated to impair infectivity. Incorporation of the cytosolic protein results from interaction with a highly exposed Pro-rich loop in the N-terminal region of the capsid (CA) domain of the precursor polyprotein, Pr55(Gag). Even when prevented from interacting with CyP A, Pr55Gag still forms particles that proceed to mature into morphologically wild-type virions, suggesting that CyP A influences a postassembly event. The nature of this CyP A influence has yet to be elucidated. Here, we show that while CyP A binds both Gag and mature CA proteins, the two binding interactions are actually different. Tryptophan 121 (W121) in CyP A distinguished the two proteins: a phenylalanine substitution (W121F) impaired binding of mature CA protein but not of Gag. This indicates the occurrence of a maturation-dependent switch in the conformation of the Pro-rich loop. A structural consequence of Gag binding to CyP A was to block this maturational refolding, resulting in a 24-kDa CA protein retaining the immature Pro-rich loop conformation. Using trypsin as a structure probe, we demonstrate that the conformation of the C-terminal region in mature CA is also a product of maturational refolding. Binding to wild-type CyP A altered this conformation, as indicated by a reduction in the accessibility of Cys residue(s) in the region to chemical modification. Hence, the end result of binding to CyP A, whether the Pro-rich loop is in the context of Gag or mature CA protein, is a structurally modified mature CA protein. The postassembly role of CyP A may be mediated through these modified mature CA proteins.



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Journal of Virology

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Biological Sciences
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April 2, 2015