Inhibition of HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein-mediated cell fusion by a DL-amino acid-containing fusion peptide: Possible recognition of the fusion complex

Doron Gerber, Moshe Pritsker, Susanne Gunther-Ausborn, Benitra Johnson, Robert Blumenthal, Yechiel Shai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

The N-terminal fusion peptide (FP) of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) is a potent inhibitor of cell-cell fusion, possibly because of its ability to recognize the corresponding segments inside the fusion complex within the membrane. Here we show that a fusion peptide in which the highly conserved Ile4, Phe8, Phe11, and Ala14 were replaced by their D-enantiomers (IFFA) is a potent inhibitor of cell-cell fusion. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy confirmed that despite these drastic modifications, the peptide preserved most of its structure within the membrane. Fluorescence energy transfer studies demonstrated that the diastereomeric peptide interacted with the wild type FP, suggesting this segment as the target site for inhibition of membrane fusion. This is further supported by the similar localization of the wild type and IFFA FPs to microdomains in T cells and the preferred partitioning into ordered regions within sphingomyelin/phosphatidyl-choline/cholesterol giant vesicles. These studies provide insight into the mechanism of molecular recognition within the membrane milieu and may serve in designing novel HIV entry inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48224-48230
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume279
Issue number46
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes

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