Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Aug 4;95(16):9134-9.

Crystal structure of the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) gp41 core: conserved helical interactions underlie the broad inhibitory activity of gp41 peptides.

Author information

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nine Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.


The gp41 subunit of the envelope protein complex from human and simian immunodeficiency viruses (HIV and SIV) mediates membrane fusion during viral entry. The crystal structure of the HIV-1 gp41 ectodomain core in its proposed fusion-active state is a six-helix bundle. Here we have reconstituted the core of the SIV gp41 ectodomain with two synthetic peptides called SIV N36 and SIV C34, which form a highly helical trimer of heterodimers. The 2.2 A resolution crystal structure of this SIV N36/C34 complex is very similar to the analogous structure in HIV-1 gp41. In both structures, three N36 helices form a central trimeric coiled coil. Three C34 helices pack in an antiparallel orientation into highly conserved, hydrophobic grooves along the surface of this coiled coil. The conserved nature of the N36-C34 interface suggests that the HIV-1 and SIV peptides are functionally interchangeable. Indeed, a heterotypic complex between HIV-1 N36 and SIV C34 peptides is highly helical and stable. Moreover, as with HIV-1 C34, the SIV C34 peptide is a potent inhibitor of HIV-1 infection. These results identify conserved packing interactions between the N and C helices of gp41 and have implications for the development of C peptide analogs with broad inhibitory activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

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