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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 13;8(6):e66065. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066065. Print 2013.

Fitness costs of mutations at the HIV-1 capsid hexamerization interface.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

Abstract

The recently available x-ray crystal structure of HIV-1 capsid hexamers has provided insight into the molecular interactions crucial for the virus's mature capsid formation. Amino acid changes at these interaction points are likely to have a strong impact on capsid functionality and, hence, viral infectivity and replication fitness. To test this hypothesis, we introduced the most frequently observed single amino acid substitution at 30 sites: 12 at the capsid hexamerization interface and 18 at non-interface sites. Mutations at the interface sites were more likely to be lethal (Fisher's exact test pā€Š=ā€Š0.027) and had greater negative impact on viral replication fitness (Wilcoxon rank sum test pā€Š=ā€Š0.040). Among the interface mutations studied, those located in the cluster of hydrophobic contacts at NTD-NTD interface and those that disrupted NTD-CTD inter-domain helix capping hydrogen bonds were the most detrimental, indicating that these interactions are particularly important for maintaining capsid structure and/or function. These functionally constrained sites provide potential targets for novel HIV drug development and vaccine immunogen design.

PMID:
23785468
PMCID:
PMC3681919
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0066065
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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