By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at AIDS Vaccine Week -- A new study on Immune System Diseases and Conditions is now available. According to news reporting from Washington, District of Columbia, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "The HIV-1 envelope spike is a trimer of heterodimers composed of an external glycoprotein gp120 and a transmembrane glycoprotein gp41. gp120 initiates virus entry by binding to host receptors, whereas gp41 mediates fusion between viral and host membranes. Although the basic pathway of HIV-1 entry has been extensively studied, the detailed mechanism is still poorly understood."
The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from the Catholic University of America, "Design of gp41 recombinants that mimic key intermediates is essential to elucidate the mechanism as well as to develop potent therapeutics and vaccines. Here, using molecular genetics and biochemical approaches, a series of hypotheses was tested to overcome the extreme hydrophobicity of HIV-1 gp41 and design a soluble near full-length gp41 trimer. The two long heptad repeat helices HR1 and HR2 of gp41 ectodomain were mutated to disrupt intramolecular HR1-HR2 interactions but not intermolecular HR1-HR1 interactions. This resulted in reduced aggregation and improved solubility. Attachment of a 27-amino acid foldon at the C terminus and slow refolding channeled gp41 into trimers. The trimers appear to be stabilized in a prehairpin-like structure, as evident from binding of a HR2 peptide to exposed HR1 grooves, lack of binding to hexa-helical bundle-specific NC-1 mAb, and inhibition of virus neutralization by broadly neutralizing antibodies 2F5 and 4E10. Fusion to T4 small outer capsid protein, Soc, allowed display of gp41 trimers on the phage nanoparticle."
According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "These approaches for the first time led to the design of a soluble gp41 trimer containing both the fusion peptide and the cytoplasmic domain, providing insights into the mechanism of entry and development of gp41-based HIV-1 vaccines."
For more information on this research see: Designing a soluble near full-length HIV-1 gp41 trimer. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2013;288(1):234-46. (American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - www.asbmb.org; Journal of Biological Chemistry - www.jbc.org/)
Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting G. Gao, Dept. of Biology, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064, United States. Additional authors for this research include L. Wieczorek, K.K. Peachman, V.R. Polonis, C.R. Alving, M. Rao and V.B Rao (see also Immune System Diseases and Conditions).
Keywords for this news article include: Genetics, HIV/AIDS, Vaccines, Virology, Washington, RNA Viruses, Retroviridae, United States, HIV Infections, Vertebrate Viruses, Biological Products, District of Columbia, Primate Lentiviruses, North and Central America, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, Viral Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
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