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Roles of Gag-RNA interactions in HIV-1 virus assembly deciphered by single-molecule localization microscopy [Cell Biology]

Single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) is useful for deciphering dynamic organizations of structures densely labeled by specific proteins in the cellular context with nanoscopic resolution not attainable by conventional imaging tools. Here we employed SMLM to investigate the mechanism by which the HIV-1 viral RNA (vRNA) mediates the assembly of thousands of Gag proteins into a virus particle at the plasma membrane. In contrast to the general notion that vRNA only triggers Gag assembly and is dispensable for subsequent assembly, we found that vRNA is indispensable throughout assembly, scaffolding the formation of assembly intermediates and maintaining their architectures via balancing of external forces acting on the assembly environment. These previously unidentified features may facilitate understanding of HIV-1 and, potentially, other retroviruses.

Authors:   Yantao Yang; Na Qu; Jie Tan; Muaz N. Rushdi; Christopher J. Krueger; Antony K. Chen
Journal:   Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences current issue
Volume:   115
edition:   26
Year:   2018
Pages:   6721
DOI:   10.1073/pnas.1805728115
Publication date:   26-Jun-2018
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • HIV
  • proteins
  • RNA
  • cell biology
More about Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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