Biochimica et biophysica acta 2018 03 20() pii 10.1016/j.bbagen.2018.03.020
HIV-1 Gag polyprotein orchestrates the assembly of viral particles. Its C-terminus consists of the nucleocapsid (NC) domain that interacts with RNA, and the p6 domain containing the PTAP motif that binds the cellular ESCRT factor TSG101 and ALIX. Deletion of the NC domain of Gag (GagNC) results in defective Gag assembly, a decrease in virus production and, thus probably affects recruitment of the ESCRT machinery. To investigate the role of GagNC in this recruitment, we analysed its impact on TSG101 and ALIX localisations and interactions in cells expressing Gag.
Cells expressing mCherry-Gag or derivatives, alone or together with eGFP-TSG101 or eGFP-ALIX, were analysed by confocal microscopy and FLIM-FRET. Chemical shift mapping between TSG101-UEV motif and Gag C-terminus was performed by NMR.
We show that deletion of NC or of its two zinc fingers decreases the amount of Gag-TSG101 interacting complexes in cells. These findings are supported by NMR data showing chemical shift perturbations in the NC domain in- and outside – of the zinc finger elements upon TSG101 binding. The NMR data further identify a large stretch of amino acids within the p6 domain directly interacting with TSG101.
The NC zinc fingers and p6 domain of Gag participate in the formation of the Gag-TSG101 complex and in its cellular localisation.
This study illustrates that the NC and p6 domains cooperate in the interaction with TSG101 during HIV-1 budding. In addition, details on the Gag-TSG101 complex were obtained by combining two high resolution biophysical techniques.