Book of Abstracts: Albany 2005

category image Volume 22
No. 6
June 2005

Conformational Model for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 gp120 V3 Loop

The model describing the conformational properties of the HIV-1 principal neutralizing determinant (gp120 V3 loop) in the geometric space of dihedrals was generated in terms of NMR spectroscopy data published in literature. To gain an object in view, the following successive steps were put into effect: (i) the NMR-based local structures for the HIVMN V3 loop were determined in water and in a mixed water/trifluoroethanol (TFE) solvent (7:3), (ii) in either case, the conformations of its irregular segments were analyzed and the secondary structure elements identified, (iii) to appreciate the degree of conformational mobility of the stretch of interest, the simulated structures were compared with each other, (iv) to detect the amino acids retaining their conformations inside the diverse HIV-1 isolates, the structures computed were collated with the one derived previously (1) for the V3 loop from Thailand isolate, and (v) as a matter of record, the structurally rigid residues, that may present the forward-looking targets for AIDS drug researches, were revealed.

Summing up the principal results arising from these studies, the following conclusions were drawn: I. The HIVMN V3 loop offers the highly mobile fragment of gp120 sensitive to its environment whose changes trigger the large-scale structural reforms, bringing in substantial altering the secondary structure of this functionally important site of the virus envelope. II. In water, it exhibits extended site 1-14 separated by double β-turn 15-20 with unordered region 21-35. III. Adding the TFE gives rise to destruction of the regular structure in the V3 loop N-terminal, stimulates the formation of 310-helix in site 24-31, and affects also its central region 20-25 forming the HIV-1 immunogenic crown. IV. Regardless of statistically significant differences between local structures of the HIVMN V3 loop in water and in water/TFE solution, over one-third of residues keeps their conformational states; the register of these amino acids comprises Asn-25 critical for virus binding with primary cell receptor CD4 as well as Arg-3 critical for utilization of CCR5 coreceptor. V. There are no conserved structural motifs within the V3 loops from Minnesota and Thailand HIV-1 strains. However, perceptible portion of amino acids, including those appearing in the functionally important regions of gp120, holds the values of dihedral angles in which case.


This study was supported by grant from the Byelorussian Republican Foundation of Fundamental Investigations (X04-058).

References and Footnotes
  1. A. M. Andrianov. J. Biomol. Struct. Dynam. 19, 973-990 (2002).

Alexander M. Andrianov

Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry
National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
Kuprevich St., 5/2, 220141 Minsk
Republic of Belarus

Phone: 375-17-2648263
Fax: 375-17-2241214
Email: andrianov@iboch.bas-net.by