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Virology. 2003 Apr 25;309(1):85-98.

Naturally occurring amino acid substitutions in the HIV-2 ROD envelope glycoprotein regulate its ability to augment viral particle release.

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Viral Biochemistry Section, Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-0460, USA.


The envelope glycoprotein of HIV-2 ROD10 has the intriguing ability to enhance the rate of viral particle release from infected cells. However, not all HIV-2 envelope glycoproteins are active in this regard. Indeed, we have previously noted that, despite a high degree of identity with that of ROD10, the envelope protein of the ROD14 isolate was unable to enhance virus production. In this study, site-directed mutagenesis was employed to reveal that a single naturally occurring alanine-to-threonine substitution at position 598, located in the extracellular part of the TM subunit, fully accounted for the lack of activity of the ROD14 Env in HeLa and 12D7 cells. A second mutation at position 422, substituting a lysine residue in ROD10 for an arginine in ROD14, was additionally required for efficient virus release from infected H9 cells, suggesting cell-type-specific requirements for this activity. Interestingly, the ROD14 Env protein exhibited a trans-dominant negative effect on particle release by ROD10 Env, suggesting that the viral release activity of the HIV-2 ROD envelope protein may be regulated by its ability to assemble into functional oligomeric structures.

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