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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A single amino acid substitution within the transmembrane domain of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Vpu protein renders simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV(KU-1bMC33)) susceptible to rimantadine.

Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that the transmembrane domain (TM) of the Vpu protein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) contributes to the pathogenesis of SHIV(KU-1bMC33) in macaques and that the TM domain of Vpu could be replaced with the M2 protein viroporin from influenza A virus. Recently, we showed that the replacement of the TM domain of Vpu with that of the M2 protein of influenza A virus resulted in a virus (SHIV(M2)) that was sensitive to rimantadine [Hout, D.R., Gomez, M.L., Pacyniak, E., Gomez, L.M., Inbody, S.H., Mulcahy, E.R., Culley, N., Pinson, D.M., Powers, M.F., Wong, S.W., Stephens, E.B., 2006. Substitution of the transmembrane domain of Vpu in simian human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV(KU-1bMC33)) with that of M2 of influenza A results in a virus that is sensitive to inhibitors of the M2 ion channel and is pathogenic for pig-tailed macaques. Virology 344, 541-558]. Based on previous studies of the M2 protein which have shown that the His-X-X-X-Trp motif within the M2 is essential to the function of the M2 proton channel, we have constructed a novel SHIV in which the alanine at position 19 of the TM domain was replaced with a histidine residue resulting in the motif His-Ile-Leu-Val-Trp. The SHIV(VpuA19H) replicated with similar kinetics as the parental SHIV(KU-1bMC33) and pulse-chase analysis revealed that the processing of viral proteins was similar to SHIV(KU-1bMC33). This SHIV(VpuA19H) virus was found to be more sensitive to the M2 ion channel blocker rimantadine than SHIV(M2). Electron microscopic examination of SHIV(VpuA19H)-infected cells treated with rimantadine revealed an accumulation of viral particles at the cell surface and within intracellular vesicles, which was similar to that previously observed to SHIV(M2)-infected cells treated with rimantadine. These data indicate that the Vpu protein of HIV-1 can be converted into a rimantadine-sensitive ion channel with the alteration of one amino acid and provide additional evidence that drugs targeting the Vpu TM/ion channel can be effective anti-HIV-1 drugs.[1]


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