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Peptides derived from the C-terminal domain of HIV-1 Viral Protein R in lipid bilayers: Structure, membrane positioning and gene delivery.

Biochimica et biophysica acta. Biomembranes (2019-12-10)
Arnaud Marquette, Christian Leborgne, Vanessa Schartner, Evgeniy Salnikov, Burkhard Bechinger, Antoine Kichler
ABSTRACT

Viral protein R (Vpr) is a small accessory protein of 96 amino acids that is present in Human and simian immunodeficiency viruses. Among the very different properties that Vpr possesses we can find cell penetrating capabilities. Based on this and on its capacity to interact with nucleic acids we previously investigated the DNA transfection properties of Vpr and subfragments thereof. We found that fragments of the C-terminal helical domain of Vpr are able to deliver efficiently plasmid DNA into different cell lines. As the amphipathic helix may play a role in the interactions with membranes, we investigated whether insertion of a proline residue in the α-helix modifies the transfection properties of Vpr. Unexpectedly, we found that the resulting Vpr55-82 Pro70 peptide was even more efficient than wild type Vpr55-82 in the gene delivery assays. Using circular dichroism, light scattering and solid-state NMR techniques, we characterized the secondary structure and interactions of Vpr and several mutants with model membranes. A model is proposed where the proline shifts the dissociation equilibrium of the peptide-cargo complex and thereby its endosomal release.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Avanti
16:0-18:1 PS (POPS), 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-L-serine (sodium salt), powder
Avanti
16:0-18:1 PS (POPS), 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-L-serine (sodium salt), chloroform
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16:0-18:1 PC, 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, chloroform
Avanti
16:0-18:1 PC, 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, powder