The N-terminal region of the envelope (env) transmembrane protein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) has a leucine zipper-like motif. This highly conserved zipper motif, which consists of a heptad repeat of leucine or isoleucine residues, has been suggested to play a role in HIV-1 env glycoprotein oligomerization. This hypothesis was tested by replacing the highly conserved leucine or isoleucine residues in the zipper motif with a strong α-helix breaker, proline. We report here that such substitutions did not abolish the ability of env protein to form oligomers, indicating that this highly conserved zipper motif does not have a crucial role in env protein oligomerization. However, the mutant viruses all showed impaired infectivity, suggesting that this conserved zipper motif can have an important role in the virus life cycle.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Virology|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 1993|
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