Specific RNA sequences regulate functions essential to life. The Trans-Activation Response element (TAR) is an RNA stem–bulge–loop structure involved in several steps of HIV-1 replication. In this work, we show how RNA targeting can inhibit HIV-1 nucleocapsid (NC), a highly conserved protein known to catalyze nucleic acid melting and strand transfers during reverse transcription. Our RNA targeting strategy consists of the employment of bis-3-chloropiperidines (B-CePs) to impair RNA melting through bifunctional alkylation. Specific interactions between B-CePs and TAR RNA were analytically investigated by gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, allowing the elucidation of B-CePs’ recognition of TAR, and highlighting an RNA-directed mechanism of protein inhibition. We propose that B-CePs can freeze TAR tridimensional conformation, impairing NC-induced dynamics and finally inhibiting its functions in vitro.

Bis-3-Chloropiperidines Targeting TAR RNA as A Novel Strategy to Impair the HIV-1 Nucleocapsid Protein

Sosic, Alice;Carraro, Caterina;Gatto, Barbara
2021

Abstract

Specific RNA sequences regulate functions essential to life. The Trans-Activation Response element (TAR) is an RNA stem–bulge–loop structure involved in several steps of HIV-1 replication. In this work, we show how RNA targeting can inhibit HIV-1 nucleocapsid (NC), a highly conserved protein known to catalyze nucleic acid melting and strand transfers during reverse transcription. Our RNA targeting strategy consists of the employment of bis-3-chloropiperidines (B-CePs) to impair RNA melting through bifunctional alkylation. Specific interactions between B-CePs and TAR RNA were analytically investigated by gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, allowing the elucidation of B-CePs’ recognition of TAR, and highlighting an RNA-directed mechanism of protein inhibition. We propose that B-CePs can freeze TAR tridimensional conformation, impairing NC-induced dynamics and finally inhibiting its functions in vitro.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3387740
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