Unliganded HIV 1 gp120 core structures assume the CD4 bound conformation with regulation by quaternary interactions and variable loops
The HIV-1 envelope (Env) spike (gp120(3)/gp41(3)) undergoes considerable structural rearrangements to mediate virus entry into cells and to evade the host immune response. Engagement of CD4, the primary human receptor, fixes a particular conformation and primes Env for entry. The CD4-bound state, however, is prone to spontaneous inactivation and susceptible to antibody neutralization. How does unliganded HIV-1 maintain CD4-binding capacity and regulate transitions to the CD4-bound state? To define this mechanistically, we determined crystal structures of unliganded core gp120 from HIV-1 clades B, C, and E. Notably, all of these unliganded HIV-1 structures resembled the CD4-bound state. Conformational fixation with ligand selection and thermodynamic analysis of full-length and core gp120 interactions revealed that the tendency of HIV-1 gp120 to adopt the CD4-bound conformation was restrained by the V1/V2- and V3-variable loops. In parallel, we determined the structure of core gp120 in complex with the small molecule, NBD-556, which specifically recognizes the CD4-bound conformation of gp120. Neutralization by NBD-556 indicated that Env spikes on primary isolates rarely assume the CD4-bound conformation spontaneously, although they could do so when quaternary restraints were loosened. Together, the results suggest that the CD4-bound conformation represents a 'ground state' for the gp120 core, with variable loop and quaternary interactions restraining unliganded gp120 from 'snapping' into this conformation. A mechanism of control involving deformations in unliganded structure from a functionally critical state (e.g., the CD4-bound state) provides advantages in terms of HIV-1 Env structural diversity and resistance to antibodies and inhibitors, while maintaining elements essential for entry.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
- PMID Author:
Kwon YD, Finzi A, Wu X, Dogo-Isonagie C, Lee LK, Moore LR, Schmidt SD, Stuckey J, Yang Y, Zhou T, Zhu J, Vicic DA, Debnath AK, Shapiro L, Bewley CA, Mascola JR, Sodroski JG, Kwong PD
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