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A helical assembly of human ESCRT-I scaffolds reverse-topology membrane scission

By Thomas G. Flower, Yoshinori Takahashi, Arpa Hudait, Kevin Rose, Nicholas Tjahjono, Alexander Pak, Adam L. Yokom, Xinwen Liang, Hong-Gang Wang, Fadila Bouamr, Gregory A. Voth, James H. Hurley

Posted 01 Feb 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.01.31.927327 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41594-020-0426-4)

The ESCRT complexes drive membrane scission in HIV-1 release, autophagosome closure, MVB biogenesis, cytokinesis, and other cell processes. ESCRT-I is the most upstream complex and bridges the system to HIV-1 Gag in virus release. The crystal structure of the headpiece of human ESCRT-I comprising TSG101:VPS28:VPS37B:MVB12A was determined, revealing an ESCRT-I helical assembly with a 12 molecule repeat. Electron microscopy confirmed that ESCRT-I subcomplexes form helical filaments in solution. Mutation of VPS28 helical interface residues blocks filament formation in vitro and autophagosome closure and HIV-1 release in human cells. Coarse grained simulations of ESCRT assembly at HIV-1 budding sites suggest that formation of a 12-membered ring of ESCRT-I molecules is a geometry-dependent checkpoint during late stages of Gag assembly and HIV-1 budding, and templates ESCRT-III assembly for membrane scission. These data show that ESCRT-I is not merely a bridging adaptor, but has an essential scaffolding and mechanical role in its own right.

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