Nucleocapsid protein precursors NCp9 and NCp15 suppress ATP-mediated rescue of AZT-terminated primers by HIV-1 reverse transcriptase

No hay miniatura disponible



Título de la revista

ISSN de la revista

Título del volumen


American Society for Microbiology


In HIV-1, development of resistance to AZT (3′-azido-3′-deoxythymidine) is mediated by the acquisition of thymidine analogue resistance mutations (TAMs) (i.e. M41L, D67N, K70R, L210W, T215F/Y and K219E/Q) in the viral reverse transcriptase (RT). Clinically relevant combinations of TAMs such as M41L/T215Y or D67N/K70R/T215F/K219Q enhance the ATP-mediated excision of AZT monophosphate (AZTMP) from the 3′ end of the primer, allowing DNA synthesis to continue. Additionally, during HIV-1 maturation, the Gag polyprotein is cleaved to release a mature nucleocapsid protein (NCp7) and two intermediate precursors (NCp9 and NCp15). NC proteins interact with the viral genome and facilitate the reverse transcription process. Using wild-type and TAM-containing RTs, we show that both NCp9 and NCp15 inhibited ATP-mediated rescue of AZTMP-terminated primers annealed to RNA templates but not DNA templates, while NCp7 had no effect on rescue activity. RNase H inactivation by introducing the active site mutation E478Q led to the loss of the inhibitory effect shown by NCp9. NCp15 had a stimulatory effect on the RT's RNase H activity not observed with NCp7 and NCp9. However, analysis of RNase H cleavage patterns revealed that in the presence of NCp9, RNA/DNA complexes containing duplexes of 12 base pairs had reduced stability in comparison with those obtained in the absence of NC, or with NCp7 or NCp15. These effects are expected to have a strong influence on the inhibitory action of NCp9 and NCp15, by affecting the efficiency of RNA-dependent DNA polymerization after unblocking DNA primers terminated with AZTMP and other nucleotide analogues.


Palabras clave