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J Mol Biol. 1994 Aug 12;241(2):136-42.

Myristoylation-dependent binding of HIV-1 Nef to CD4.

Author information

1
Department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.

Abstract

The nef gene is conserved throughout the primate lentivirus family. Although dispensable in vitro, an important role for nef in vivo is suggested by the failure of SIV nef mutants to establish persistent viraemia. Although the biochemical function of the Nef protein remains equivocal, a consistent theme has emerged with the reproducible observation that Nef expression results in the down-modulation of the cell surface marker CD4. Down-modulation requires amino acid sequences within the cytoplasmic domain of CD4 but occurs by a mechanism distinct from the normal serine phosphorylation-dependent pathway. As CD4 is a transmembrane glycoprotein and Nef a myristoylated protein targeted to the cytoplasmic face of the plasma membrane we considered that a direct interaction between Nef and CD4 might play a role in down-modulation. Here we demonstrate that a baculovirus-expressed Nef-GST fusion protein interacts specifically with CD4. This interaction requires co-expression in the same cell and is dependent on Nef myristoylation. The site of Nef interaction maps to the cytoplasmic domain of CD4, as a deletion mutant lacking this domain fails to interact with Nef. This observation sheds new light on the biochemical function of Nef and offers new opportunities for the future development of HIV chemotherapy.

PMID:
8057354
DOI:
10.1006/jmbi.1994.1483
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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