Vpr, one of the accessory gene products encoded by HIV-1, is a 96-residue protein with a number of functions, including targeting of the viral pre-integration complex to the nucleus and inducing growth arrest of dividing cells. We have characterized by 2D NMR the solution conformations of bioactive synthetic peptide fragments of Vpr encompassing a pair of H(F/S)RIG sequence motifs (residues 71-75 and 78-82 of HIV-1 Vpr) that cause cell membrane permeabilization and death in yeast and mammalian cells. Due to limited solubility of the peptides in water, their structures were studied in aqueous trifluoroethanol. Peptide Vpr59-86 (residues 59-86 of Vpr) formed an α-helix encompassing residues 60-77, with a kink in the vicinity of residue 62. The first of the repeated sequence motifs (HFRIG) participated in the well-defined α-helical domain whereas the second (HSRIG) lay outside the helical domain and formed a reverse turn followed by a less ordered region. On the other hand, peptides Vpr71-82 and Vpr71-96, in which the sequence motifs were located at the N-terminus, were largely unstructured under similar conditions, as judged by their CαH chemical shifts. Thus, the HFRIG and HSRIG motifs adopt α-helical and turn structures, respectively, when preceded by a helical structure, but are largely unstructured in isolation. The implications of these findings for interpretation of the structure-function relationships of synthetic peptides containing these motifs are discussed.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Peptide Science|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
- Sequence motifs
- Solution structure
- Viral protein