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J Mol Biol. 2000 Jan 14;295(2):163-8.

Inhibition of HIV-1 entry before gp41 folds into its fusion-active conformation.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Chemistry, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel.

Abstract

HIV-1 entry into its host cell is modulated by its transmembrane envelope glycoprotein (gp41). The core of the activated conformation of gp41 consists of a trimer of heterodimers comprising a leucine/isoleucine zipper sequence (represented here by the synthetic peptide N36 or by the longer N51 peptide) and a C-terminal highly conserved region (represented here by C34). A correlation was found between the action of DP178, which is a potent inhibitor of HIV-1 entry into its host cell, and its ability to interact with the leucine/isoleucine zipper sequence. This correlation was further tested and confirmed by circular dichroism spectroscopy. We found that whereas DP178 perturbs the partial alpha-helix nature of peptides corresponding to the leucine/isoleucine zipper sequence (N36 or N51), it cannot perturb the trimer of heterodimers conformation, modeled by the complex of N36 or N51 with C34. Therefore, we suggest that the already formed trimer of heterodimers is not the target of inhibition by DP178. Our results are consistent with a model in which DP178 acquires its inhibitory activity by binding to an earlier intermediate of gp41, in which the N and C peptide regions are not yet associated, thus allowing DP178 to bind to the leucine/isoleucine zipper sequence and consequently to inhibit transition to the fusion-active conformation.

PMID:
10623516
DOI:
10.1006/jmbi.1999.3368
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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