Role of the matrix protein in the virion association of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 envelope glycoprotein

Dorfman, T.; Mammano, F.; Haseltine, W.A.; Göttlinger, H.G.

Journal of Virology 68(3): 1689-1696


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-538X
PMID: 8107229
Accession: 009370943

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The matrix (MA) protein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) forms an inner coat directly underneath the lipid envelope of the virion. The outer surface of the lipid envelope surrounding the capsid is coated by the viral Env glycoproteins. We report here that the HIV-1 capsid-Env glycoprotein association is very sensitive to minor alterations in the MA protein. The results indicate that most of the MA domain of the Gag precursor, except for its carboxy terminus, is essential for this association. Viral particles produced by proviruses with small missense or deletion mutations in the region coding for the amino-terminal 100 amino acids of the MA protein lacked both the surface glycoprotein gp120 and the transmembrane glycoprotein gp41, indicating a defect at the level of Env glycoprotein incorporation. Alterations at the carboxy terminus of the MA domain had no significant effect on the levels of particle-associated Env glycoprotein or on virus replication. The presence of HIV-1 MA protein sequences was sufficient for the stable association of HIV-1 Env glycoprotein with hybrid particles that contain the capsid (CA) and nucleocapsid (NC) proteins of visna virus. The association of HIV-1 Env glycoprotein with the hybrid particles was dependent upon the presence of the HIV-1 MA protein domain, as HIV-1 Env glycoprotein was not efficiently recruited into virus particles when coexpressed with authentic visna virus Gag proteins.