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Virology. 1999 Apr 25;257(1):261-74.

Cyclophilin A incorporation is not required for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 particle maturation and does not destabilize the mature capsid.

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  • 1Heinrich-Pette-Institut für Experimentelle Virologie und Immunologie an der Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, D-20251, Germany.


The cellular protein cyclophilin A (CypA) is packaged into human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) virions through a specific interaction with the capsid (CA) domain of the Gag polyprotein. CypA is important for infectivity, but its role in viral replication is currently unknown. Previous reports suggested that CypA promotes uncoating or enhances maturation. We analyzed the morphology and capsid stability of HIV-1 variants defective in CypA binding and of virus grown in the presence of cyclosporin. Both cyclosporin treatment and alteration of Gly89 or Pro90 in the CypA-binding site of CA caused a 5- to 20-fold decrease in CypA incorporation. Virus produced from cyclosporin-treated cells and variants G89V and G89A were 10- to 100-fold less infectious but exhibited normal virion morphologies with regular cone-shaped capsids. Irregular capsid morphologies and lower infectivities were observed for some other variants in the CypA-binding region. Decreased CypA incorporation did not reduce the kinetics of intracellular polyprotein processing or of virus release. No increase in immature particles was observed. These results suggest that CypA does not promote virion maturation. Furthermore, detergent stripping of virus particles with various CypA contents revealed no difference in capsid stability. Based on these results and those reported in the accompanying paper, it appears likely that CypA also is not an uncoating factor. Alternative models for CypA function are discussed.

Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

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