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Structure. 2003 Feb;11(2):225-36.

Alternative conformations of HIV-1 V3 loops mimic beta hairpins in chemokines, suggesting a mechanism for coreceptor selectivity.

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Department of Structural Biology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100, Rehovot, Israel.


The V3 loop of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120 is involved in binding to the CCR5 and CXCR4 coreceptors. The structure of an HIV-1(MN) V3 peptide bound to the Fv of the broadly neutralizing human monoclonal antibody 447-52D was solved by NMR and found to be a beta hairpin. This structure of V3(MN) was found to have conformation and sequence similarities to beta hairpins in CD8 and CCR5 ligands MIP-1alpha, MIP-1beta, and RANTES and differed from the beta hairpin of a V3(IIIB) peptide bound to the strain-specific murine anti-gp120(IIIB) antibody 0.5beta. In contrast to the structure of the bound V3(MN) peptide, the V3(IIIB) peptide resembles a beta hairpin in SDF-1, a CXCR4 ligand. These data suggest that the 447-52D-bound V3(MN) and the 0.5beta-bound V3(IIIB) structures represent alternative V3 conformations responsible for selective interactions with CCR5 and CXCR4, respectively.

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