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Nucleocapsid Protein Zinc-Finger Mutants of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Strain Mne Produce Virions That Are Replication Defectivein Vitroandin Vivo

By Robert J. Gorelick, Raoul E. Benveniste, Tracy D. Gagliardi, Theresa A. Wiltrout, Laura K. Busch, William J. Bosche, Lori V. Coren, Jeffrey D. Lifson, Patricia J. Bradley, Louis E. Henderson and Larry O. Arthur


AbstractAll retroviruses (except the spumaretroviruses) contain a nucleocapsid (NC) protein that encodes one or two copies of the Zn2+-finger sequence -Cys-X2-Cys-X4-His-X4-Cys-. This region has been shown to be essential for recognition and packaging of the genomic RNA during virion particle assembly. Additionally, this region has been shown to be involved in early infection events in a wide spectrum of retroviruses, including mammalian type C [e.g., murine leukemia virus (MuLV)], human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1),Rous sarcomavirus, and other retroviruses. Mutations in the two Zn2+-fingers of the NC protein of simian immunodeficiency virus strain Mne [SIV(Mne)] have been generated. The resulting virions contained the normal complement of processed viral proteins with densities indistinguishable from wild-type SIV(Mne). All of the mutants had electron micrograph morphologies similar to those of immature particles observed in wild-type preparations. RNA packaging was less affected by mutations in the NC protein of SIV(Mne) than has been observed for similar mutants in the MuLV and HIV-1 systems. Nevertheless,in vitroreplication of SIV(Mne) NC mutants was impaired to levels comparable to those observed for MuLV and HIV-1 NC mutants; replication defective NC mutants are typically 105- to 106-fold less infectious than similar levels of wild-type virus. One mutant, ΔCys33–Cys36, was also found to be noninfectiousin vivowhen mutant virus was administered intravenously to a pig-tailed macaque. NC mutations can therefore be used to generate replication defective virions for candidate vaccines in the SIV macaque model for primate lentiviral diseases

Publisher: Published by Elsevier Inc.
Year: 1999
DOI identifier: 10.1006/viro.1998.9513
OAI identifier:

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