1. Superior HIV-1 TAR Binders with Conformationally Constrained R52 Arginine Mimics in the Tat(48-57) Peptide
Govind S Bhosle, Shalmali Kharche, Santosh Kumar, Durba Sengupta, Souvik Maiti, Moneesha Fernandes ChemMedChem. 2018 Feb 6;13(3):220-226. doi: 10.1002/cmdc.201700653. Epub 2018 Jan 15.
We report a 100-fold increase in binding affinity of the Tat(48-57) peptide to HIV-1 transcriptional activator-responsive element (TAR) RNA by replacing Arg52, an essential and critical residue for Tat's specific binding, with (2S,4S)-4-guanidinoproline. The resulting αTat1M peptide is a far superior binder than γTat1M, a peptide containing another conformationally constrained arginine mimic, (2S,4S)-4-amino-N-(3-guanidinopropyl)proline, or even the control Tat peptide (CtrlTat) itself. Our observations are supported by circular dichroism (CD), isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), gel electrophoresis and UV spectroscopy studies. Molecular dynamics simulations suggest increased interactions between the more compact αTat1M and TAR RNA, relative to CtrlTat. The CD signature of the RNA itself remains largely unchanged upon binding of the peptides. The Tat mimetics further have better cell uptake properties than the control Tat peptide, thus increasing their potential application as specific TAR-binding molecules.
2. Defining the molecular mechanisms of HIV-1 Tat secretion: PtdIns(4,5)P2 at the epicenter
Anthony R Mele, Jamie Marino, Kenneth Chen, Vanessa Pirrone, Chris Janetopoulos, Brian Wigdahl, Zachary Klase, Michael R Nonnemacher Traffic. 2018 Apr 30;10.1111/tra.12578. doi: 10.1111/tra.12578. Online ahead of print.
The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transactivator of transcription (Tat) protein functions both intracellularly and extracellularly. Intracellularly, the main function is to enhance transcription of the viral promoter. However, this process only requires a small amount of intracellular Tat. The majority of Tat is secreted through an unconventional mechanism by binding to phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P2 ), a phospholipid in the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane that is required for secretion. This interaction is mediated by the basic domain of Tat (residues 48-57) and a conserved tryptophan (residue 11). After binding to PtdIns(4,5)P2 , Tat secretion diverges into multiple pathways, which we categorized as oligomerization-mediated pore formation, spontaneous translocation and incorporation into exosomes. Extracellular Tat has been shown to be neurotoxic and toxic to other cells of the central nervous system (CNS) and periphery, able to recruit immune cells to the CNS and cerebrospinal fluid, and alter the gene expression and morphology of uninfected cells. The effects of extracellular Tat have been examined in HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND); however, only a small number of studies have focused on the mechanisms underlying Tat secretion. In this review, the molecular mechanisms of Tat secretion will be examined in a variety of biologically relevant cell types.