5 years ago

Bending of the BST-2 coiled-coil during viral budding

Ozcan, C., Berndsen, K. A.
BST-2/tetherin is a human extracellular transmembrane protein that serves as a host defense factor against HIV-1 and other viruses by inhibiting viral spreading. Structurally, BST-2 is a homodimeric coiled-coil that is connected to the host cell membrane by N and C terminal transmembrane anchors. The C-terminal membrane anchor of BST-2 is inserted into the budding virus while the N terminal membrane anchor remains in the host cell membrane creating a viral tether. The structural mechanism of viral budding and tethering as mediated by BST-2 is not clear. To more fully describe the mechanism of viral tethering, we created a model of BST-2 embedded in a membrane and used steered molecular dynamics to simulate the transition from the host cell membrane associated BST-2 and the cell-virus membrane bridging form. We observed that BST-2 did not transition as a rigid structure, but instead bent at sites with a reduced interface between the helices of the coiled-coil. The simulations for the human BST-2 were then compared with simulations on the mouse homolog, which has a more stable coiled-coil. We observed that the mouse homolog spread the bending across the ectodomain, rather than breaking at discrete points as observed with the human homolog. These simulations support previous biochemical and cellular work suggesting some flexibility in the coiled-coil is necessary for viral tethering, while also highlighting how subtle changes in protein sequence can influence the dynamics and stability of proteins with overall similar structure.

Publisher URL: http://biorxiv.org/cgi/content/short/160242v1

DOI: 10.1101/160242

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