Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Virol. 1993 Jan;67(1):425-37.

Characterization of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 integrase expressed in Escherichia coli and analysis of variants with amino-terminal mutations.

Author information

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305.


Replication of a retroviral genome depends upon integration of the viral DNA into a chromosome of the host cell. The integration reaction is mediated by integrase, a viral enzyme. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 integrase was expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to near homogeneity. Optimum conditions for the integration and 3'-end-processing activities of integrase were characterized by using an in vitro assay with short, double-stranded oligonucleotide substrates. Mutants containing amino acid substitutions within the HHCC region, defined by phylogenetically conserved pairs of histidine and cysteine residues near the N terminus, were constructed and characterized by using three assays: 3'-end processing, integration, and the reverse of the integration reaction (or disintegration). Mutations in the conserved histidine and cysteine residues abolished both integration and processing activities. Weak activity in both assays was retained by two other mutants containing substitutions for less highly conserved amino acids in this region. All mutants retained activity in the disintegration assay, implying that the active site for DNA cleavage-ligation is not located in this domain and that the HHCC region is not the sole DNA-binding domain in the protein. However, the preferential impairment of processing and integration rather than disintegration by mutations in the HHCC region is consistent with a role for this domain in recognizing features of the viral DNA. This hypothesis is supported by the results of disintegration assays performed with altered substrates. The results support a model involving separate viral and target DNA-binding sites on integrase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

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