The thermodynamics of Pr55Gag-RNA interaction regulate the assembly of HIV

Hanumant S. Tanwar, Keith Khoo, Megan Garvey, Lynne Waddington, Andrew Leis, Marcel Hijnen, Tony Velkov, Geoff J. Dumsday, William J. McKinstry, Johnson Mak

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The interactions that occur during HIV Pr55Gagoligomerization and genomic RNA packaging are essential elements that facilitate HIV assembly. However, mechanistic details of these interactions are not clearly defined. Here, we overcome previous limitations in producing large quantities of full-length recombinant Pr55Gagthat is required for isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) studies, and we have revealed the thermodynamic properties of HIV assembly for the first time. Thermodynamic analysis showed that the binding between RNA and HIV Pr55Gagis an energetically favourable reaction (ΔG<0) that is further enhanced by the oligomerization of Pr55Gag. The change in enthalpy (ΔH) widens sequentially from: (1) Pr55Gag-Psi RNA binding during HIV genome selection; to (2) Pr55Gag-Guanosine Uridine (GU)-containing RNA binding in cytoplasm/plasma membrane; and then to (3) Pr55Gag-Adenosine(A)-containing RNA binding in immature HIV. These data imply the stepwise increments of heat being released during HIV biogenesis may help to facilitate the process of viral assembly. By mimicking the interactions between A-containing RNA and oligomeric Pr55Gagin immature HIV, it was noted that a p6 domain truncated Pr50Gag Δp6is less efficient than full-length Pr55Gagin this thermodynamic process. These data suggest a potential unknown role of p6 in Pr55Gag-Pr55Gagoligomerization and/or Pr55Gag-RNA interaction during HIV assembly. Our data provide direct evidence on how nucleic acid sequences and the oligomeric state of Pr55Gagregulate HIV assembly.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1006221
Number of pages24
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

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