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J Virol. 2010 Jul;84(14):7135-9. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00031-10. Epub 2010 May 12.

Dissection of the HIV Vif interaction with human E3 ubiquitin ligase.

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Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, 260 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT 06511.


The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protein Vif recruits the host E3 ubiquitin ligase, composed of cullin 5 (Cul5), Rbx2, Elongin B, and Elongin C (EloBC), to polyubiquitinate the antiviral protein APOBEC3G. Multiple regions in the C-terminal half of Vif interact with the E3 ligase. We have purified individual regions of Vif and investigated their thermodynamic contributions to the ligase assembly in vitro using isothermal titration calorimetry and fluorescence anisotropy. Our results quantify the high-affinity interactions between the Vif BC box and EloBC and between the Vif zinc finger and Cul5, as well as the modest interaction between the Vif cullin box and Cul5. Our purified Vif constructs also provide direct biochemical evidence that the Vif cullin box, containing the PPLP region, leads to the dimerization of Vif-EloBC complexes but not Cul5-Vif-EloBC complexes.

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