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Biochemistry. 2011 Nov 22;50(46):10013-26. doi: 10.1021/bi201292e. Epub 2011 Oct 31.

Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of human immunodeficiency virus gp41 protein that includes the fusion peptide: NMR detection of recombinant Fgp41 in inclusion bodies in whole bacterial cells and structural characterization of purified and membrane-associated Fgp41.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.

Abstract

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection of a host cell begins with fusion of the HIV and host cell membranes and is mediated by the gp41 protein, a single-pass integral membrane protein of HIV. The 175 N-terminal residues make up the ectodomain that lies outside the virus. This work describes the production and characterization of an ectodomain construct containing the 154 N-terminal gp41 residues, including the fusion peptide (FP) that binds to target cell membranes. The Fgp41 sequence was derived from one of the African clade A strains of HIV-1 that have been less studied than European/North American clade B strains. Fgp41 expression at a level of ~100 mg/L of culture was evidenced by an approach that included amino acid type (13)CO and (15)N labeling of recombinant protein and solid-state NMR (SSNMR) spectroscopy of lyophilized whole cells. The approach did not require any protein solubilization or purification and may be a general approach for detection of recombinant protein. The purified Fgp41 yield was ~5 mg/L of culture. SSNMR spectra of membrane-associated Fgp41 showed high helicity for the residues C-terminal of the FP. This was consistent with a "six-helix bundle" (SHB) structure that is the final gp41 state during membrane fusion. This observation and negligible Fgp41-induced vesicle fusion supported a function for SHB gp41 of membrane stabilization and fusion arrest. SSNMR spectra of residues in the membrane-associated FP provided evidence of a mixture of molecular populations with either helical or β-sheet FP conformation. These and earlier SSNMR data strongly support the existence of these populations in the SHB state of membrane-associated gp41.

PMID:
21985645
PMCID:
PMC3220598
DOI:
10.1021/bi201292e
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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