1887

Abstract

The capsid protein (CA or p24) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) plays a major role both early and late in the virus replication cycle. Many studies have suggested that the C-terminal domain of this protein is involved in dimerization and proper assembly of the viral core. Point mutations were introduced in two conserved sites of this region and their effects on viral protein expression, particle assembly and infectivity were studied. Eight different mutants (L205A+P207A, L205A, P207A, 223GPG225AAA, G223A, P224A, G225A and V221G) of the infectious clone pNL4-3 were constructed. Most substitutions had no substantial effect on HIV-1 protein synthesis, yet they impaired viral infectivity and particle production. The two mutants P207A and V221G also had a profound effect on Gag–Pol protein processing in HeLa–tat cells. However, these results were cell line-specific and Gag–Pol processing of P207A was not affected in 293T cells. In HeLa–tat cells, no virus particles were detected with the P207A mutation, whereas the other mutant virus particles were heterogeneous in size and morphology. None of the mutants showed normal, mature, conical core structures in HeLa–tat cells. These results indicate that the two conserved sequences in the C-terminal CA domain are essential for proper morphogenesis and infectivity of HIV-1 particles.

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2004-10-01
2019-12-13
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