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Coarse-grained simulation reveals key features of HIV-1 capsid self-assembly
John M A Grime,
James F Dama,
Barbie K Ganser-Pornillos,
Cora L Woodward,
Grant J. Jensen,
Mark J Yeager,
Gregory A Voth
Posted 23 Feb 2016
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/040741 (published DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11568)
Posted 23 Feb 2016
The maturation of HIV-1 viral particles is essential for viral infectivity. During maturation, many copies of the capsid protein (CA) self-assemble into a capsid shell to enclose the viral RNA. The mechanistic details of the initiation and early stages of capsid assembly remain to be delineated. We present coarse-grained simulations of capsid assembly under various conditions, considering not only capsid lattice self-assembly but also the potential disassembly of capsid upon delivery to the cytoplasm of a target cell. The effects of CA concentration, molecular crowding, and the conformational variability of CA are described, with results indicating that capsid nucleation and growth is a multi-stage process requiring well-defined metastable intermediates. Generation of the mature capsid lattice is sensitive to local conditions, with relatively subtle changes in CA concentration and molecular crowding influencing self-assembly and the ensemble of structural morphologies.
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