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Bioorg Med Chem. 2013 Jun 15;21(12):3523-32. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2013.03.001. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Mapping the Vif-A3G interaction using peptide arrays: a basis for anti-HIV lead peptides.

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Institute of Chemistry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Safra Campus, Givat Ram, Jerusalem 91904, Israel.


Human apolipoprotein-B mRNA-editing catalytic polypeptide-like 3G (A3G) is a cytidine deaminase that restricts retroviruses, endogenous retro-elements and DNA viruses. A3G plays a key role in the anti-HIV-1 innate cellular immunity. The HIV-1 Vif protein counteracts A3G mainly by leading A3G towards the proteosomal machinery and by direct inhibition of its enzymatic activity. Both activities involve direct interaction between Vif and A3G. Disrupting the interaction between A3G and Vif may rescue A3G antiviral activity and inhibit HIV-1 propagation. Here, mapping the interaction sites between A3G and Vif by peptide array screening revealed distinct regions in Vif important for A3G binding, including the N-terminal domain (NTD), C-terminal domain (CTD) and residues 83-99. The Vif-binding sites in A3G included 12 different peptides that showed strong binding to either full-length Vif, Vif CTD or both. Sequence similarity was found between Vif-binding peptides from the A3G CTD and NTD. A3G peptides were synthesized and tested for their ability to counteract Vif action. A3G 211-225 inhibited HIV-1 replication in cell culture and impaired Vif dependent A3G degradation. In vivo co-localization of full-length Vif with A3G 211-225 was demonstrated by use of FRET. This peptide has the potential to serve as an anti-HIV-1 lead compound. Our results suggest a complex interaction between Vif and A3G that is mediated by discontinuous binding regions with different affinities.

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