Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Virol. 2004 Dec;78(24):13430-9.

Heptad repeat 2-based peptides inhibit avian sarcoma and leukosis virus subgroup a infection and identify a fusion intermediate.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 225 Johnson Pavilion, 3610 Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6076, USA.


Fusion proteins of enveloped viruses categorized as class I are typified by two distinct heptad repeat domains within the transmembrane subunit. These repeats are important structural elements that assemble into the six-helix bundles characteristic of the fusion-activated envelope trimer. Peptides derived from these domains can be potent and specific inhibitors of membrane fusion and virus infection. To facilitate our understanding of retroviral entry, peptides corresponding to the two heptad repeat domains of the avian sarcoma and leukosis virus subgroup A (ASLV-A) TM subunit of the envelope protein were characterized. Two peptides corresponding to the C-terminal heptad repeat (HR2), offset from one another by three residues, were effective inhibitors of infection, while two overlapping peptides derived from the N-terminal heptad repeat (HR1) were not. Analysis of envelope mutants containing substitutions within the HR1 domain revealed that a single amino acid change, L62A, significantly reduced sensitivity to peptide inhibition. Virus bound to cells at 4 degrees C became sensitive to peptide within the first 5 min of elevating the temperature to 37 degrees C and lost sensitivity to peptide after 15 to 30 min, consistent with a transient intermediate in which the peptide binding site is exposed. In cell-cell fusion experiments, peptide inhibitor sensitivity occurred prior to a fusion-enhancing low-pH pulse. Soluble receptor for ASLV-A induces a lipophilic character in the envelope which can be measured by stable liposome binding, and this activation was found to be unaffected by inhibitory HR2 peptide. Finally, receptor-triggered conformational changes in the TM subunit were also found to be unaffected by inhibitory peptide. These changes are marked by a dramatic shift in mobility on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, from a subunit of 37 kDa to a complex of about 80 kDa. Biotinylated HR2 peptide bound specifically to the 80-kDa complex, demonstrating a surprisingly stable envelope conformation in which the HR2 binding site is exposed. These experiments support a model in which receptor interaction promotes formation of an envelope conformation in which the TM subunit is stably associated with its target membrane and is able to bind a C-terminal peptide.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk