Bovine leukemia virus nucleocapsid protein is an efficient nucleic acid chaperone

Published on Mar 1, 2015in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications2.705
· DOI :10.1016/j.bbrc.2015.02.025
Dominic F. Qualley4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Berry College),
Victoria L. Sokolove1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Berry College),
James L. Ross3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Berry College)
Abstract Nucleocapsid proteins (NCs) direct the rearrangement of nucleic acids to form the most thermodynamically stable structure, and facilitate many steps throughout the life cycle of retroviruses. NCs bind strongly to nucleic acids (NAs) and promote NA aggregation by virtue of their cationic nature; they also destabilize the NA duplex via highly structured zinc-binding motifs. Thus, they are considered to be NA chaperones. While most retroviral NCs are structurally similar, differences are observed both within and between retroviral genera. In this work, we compare the NA binding and chaperone activity of bovine leukemia virus (BLV) NC to that of two other retroviral NCs: human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) NC, which is structurally similar to BLV NC but from a different retrovirus genus, and human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) NC, which possesses several key structural differences from BLV NC but is from the same genus. Our data show that BLV and HIV-1 NCs bind to NAs with stronger affinity in relation to HTLV-1 NC, and that they also accelerate the annealing of complementary stem-loop structures to a greater extent. Analysis of kinetic parameters derived from the annealing data suggests that while all three NCs stimulate annealing by a two-step mechanism as previously reported, the relative contributions of each step to the overall annealing equilibrium are conserved between BLV and HIV-1 NCs but are different for HTLV-1 NC. It is concluded that while BLV and HTLV-1 belong to the same genus of retroviruses, processes that rely on NC may not be directly comparable.
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