Resolving fast and slow motions in the internal loop containing stem-loop 1 of HIV-1 that are modulated by Mg2+ binding: role in the kissing-duplex structural transition.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Stem loop 1 (SL1) is a highly conserved hairpin in the 5'-leader of the human immunodeficiency virus type I that forms a metastable kissing dimer that is converted during viral maturation into a stable duplex with the aid of the nucleocapsid (NC) protein. SL1 contains a highly conserved internal loop that promotes the kissing-duplex transition by a mechanism that remains poorly understood. Using NMR, we characterized internal motions induced by the internal loop in an SL1 monomer that may promote the kissing-duplex transition. This includes micro-to-millisecond secondary structural transitions that cause partial melting of three base-pairs above the internal loop making them key nucleation sites for exchanging strands and nanosecond rigid-body stem motions that can help bring strands into spatial register. We show that while Mg2+ binds to the internal loop and arrests these internal motions, it preserves and/or activates local mobility at internal loop residues G272 and G273 which are implicated in NC binding. By stabilizing SL1 without compromising the accessibility of G272 and G273 for NC binding, Mg2+ may increase the dependence of the kissing-duplex transition on NC binding thus preventing spontaneous transitions from taking place and ensuring that viral RNA and protein maturation occur in concert.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sun, X; Zhang, Q; Al-Hashimi, HM

Published Date

  • 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1698 - 1713

PubMed ID

  • 17311812

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC1865058

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1362-4962

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/nar/gkm020


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England