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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Nov 17;240(2):257-60.

The redox state of cysteines in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Vif in infected cells and in virions.

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Molecular Virology Laboratory, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York 10019, USA.


HIV-1 Vif has two conserved cysteine residues in positions 114 and 133, both of which were found to be essential for HIV-1 infection and for Vif function in transcomplementation assays (X-Y. Ma, P. Sova, W. Chao, and D. J. Volsky, 1994, J. Virol. 68: 1714-1720). We evaluated here the redox status and disulfide bond formation of Vif cysteines inside cells or in virions and tested the role of Vif cysteines in Vif distribution in cells and in virions. Immunoblot analysis of Vif in wild type virus-infected cells and virions under different redox conditions revealed that the cysteine residues are readily accessible to chemical interaction but they do not form intramolecular disulfide bonds either inside cells or in virions, nor do they form covalent bonds with other proteins in either compartment. Cysteine mutants of Vif resembled wildtype Vif in their intracellular and virion distribution, indicating that Vif cysteines do not affect intracellular Vif transport and packaging into virions. We conclude that the cysteines in Vif do not form sulfhydryl bonds either intracellularly or in virions and may contribute to Vif activity rather than structure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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