Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Aug;87(16):6336-40.

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease cleaves the intermediate filament proteins vimentin, desmin, and glial fibrillary acidic protein.

Author information

Max-Planck-Institut für Zellbiologie, Abteilung Traub, Rosenhof, Federal Republic of Germany.


The intermediate filament proteins vimentin, desmin, and glial fibrillary acidic protein are cleaved in vitro by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease (HIV-1 PR). Microsequencing showed that HIV-1 PR cleaved both human and murine vimentin between leucine-422 and arginine-423 within the sequence between positions 418 and 427, Ser-Ser-Leu-Asn-Leu/Arg-Glu-Thr-Asn-Leu (SSLNL/RETNL). Minor cleavages at other sites were also observed. Heat-denatured vimentin was cleaved by HIV-1 PR less efficiently than native vimentin. A decapeptide containing the sequence SSLN-LRETNL was also cleaved in vitro by HIV-1 PR as predicted. The presence of a charged residue (arginine) at the primary cleavage site distinguishes this from other known naturally occurring cleavage sites. Microinjection of HIV-1 PR into cultured human fibroblasts resulted in a 9-fold increase in the percentage of cells with an altered and abnormal distribution of vimentin intermediate filaments. Most commonly, the intermediate filaments collapsed into a clump with a juxtanuclear localization. These results support the possibility that intermediate filament proteins may serve as substrates within HIV-1-infected cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center