Role of Hydrophobic Residues in the Central Ectodomain of gp41 in Maintaining the Association between Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Envelope Glycoprotein Subunits gp120 and gp41

Joanne York, Jack H. Nunberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

The interaction between the gp120 and gp41 subunits of the human immunodeficiency virus envelope glycoprotein serves to stabilize the virion form of the complex and to transmit receptor-induced conformational changes in gp120 to trigger the membrane fusion activity of gp41. In this study, we used site-directed mutagenesis to identify amino acid residues in the central ectodomain of gp41 that contribute to the stability of the gp120-gp41 association. We identified alanine mutations at six positions, including four tryptophan residues, which result in mutant envelope glycoprotein complexes that fail to retain gp120 on the cell surface. These envelope glycoproteins readily shed their gp120 and are unable to mediate cell-cell fusion. These findings suggest an important role for the conserved bulky hydrophobic residues in stabilizing the gp120-gp41 complex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4921-4926
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume78
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2004

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