BMC biochemistry 2018 03 2119(1) 2 doi 10.1186/s12858-018-0092-x
An important step in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication is the packaging of tRNAfrom the host cell, which plays the role of primer RNA in the process of initiation of reverse transcription. The viral GagPol polyprotein precursor, and the human mitochondrial lysyl-tRNA synthetase (mLysRS) from the host cell, have been proposed to be involved in the packaging process. More specifically, the catalytic domain of mLysRS is supposed to interact with the transframe (TF or p6*) and integrase (IN) domains of the Pol region of the GagPol polyprotein.
In this work, we report a quantitative characterization of the protein:protein interactions between mLysRS and its viral partners, the Pol polyprotein, and the isolated integrase and transframe domains of Pol. A dissociation constant of 1.3 ± 0.2 nM was determined for the Pol:mLysRS interaction, which exemplifies the robustness of this association. The protease and reverse transcriptase domains of GagPol are dispensable in this association, but the TF and IN domains have to be connected by a linker polypeptide to recapitulate a high affinity partner for mLysRS. The binding of the viral proteins to mLysRS does not dramatically enhance the binding affinity of mLysRS for tRNA.
These data support the conclusion that the complex formed between GagPol, mLysRS and tRNA, which involves direct interactions between the IN and TF domains of Pol with mLysRS, is more robust than suggested by the previous models supposed to be involved in the packaging of tRNAinto HIV-1 particles.