alexa Theta-defensins prevent HIV-1 Env-mediated fusion by binding gp41 and blocking 6-helix bundle formation.
Bioinformatics & Systems Biology

Bioinformatics & Systems Biology

Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology

Author(s): Gallo SA, Wang W, Rawat SS, Jung G, Waring AJ,

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Abstract Retrocyclin-1, a -defensin, protects target cells from human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1) by preventing viral entry. To delineate its mechanism, we conducted fusion assays between susceptible target cells and effector cells that expressed HIV-1 Env. Retrocyclin-1 (4 microm) completely blocked fusion mediated by HIV-1 Envs that used CXCR4 or CCR5 but had little effect on cell fusion mediated by HIV-2 and simian immunodeficiency virus Envs. Retrocyclin-1 inhibited HIV-1 Env-mediated fusion without impairing the lateral mobility of CD4, and it inhibited the fusion of CD4-deficient cells with cells bearing CD4-independent HIV-1 Env. Thus, it could act without cross-linking membrane proteins or inhibiting gp120-CD4 interactions. Retrocyclin-1 acted late in the HIV-1 Env fusion cascade but prior to 6-helix bundle formation. Surface plasmon resonance experiments revealed that retrocyclin bound the ectodomain of gp41 with high affinity in a glycan-independent manner and that it bound selectively to the gp41 C-terminal heptad repeat. Native-PAGE, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and CD spectroscopic analyses all revealed that retrocyclin-1 prevented 6-helix bundle formation. This mode of action, although novel for an innate effector molecule, resembles the mechanism of peptidic entry inhibitors based on portions of the gp41 sequence. This article was published in J Biol Chem and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology

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