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Pushing HIV out the door: How host factors aid in the release of HIV particles
Date:3/11/2011

ents to be recycled.

The results from ultrasensitive live-cell imaging experiments showed that VPS4A also acts at an earlier stage in the budding process. In the new work, the researchers labeled the enzyme by fusing it with the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). This allowed them to track the protein in living cells. By recording the fluorescent signals, they observed how several VPS4A molecules came together to form larger complexes. "In this case, we were able to count how many enzyme molecules assembled at the HIV budding site during its interaction with the nascent virion" says Mller.

Complexes made up of about three dodecamers of VPS4A were observed to undergo transient activation (for about a minute) at a budding site. Shortly thereafter, the virions were observed to emerge from the cell at these locations. Because virion release does not follow immediately upon activation of the enzyme, the investigators believe that at least one further intermediate step is required for budding.

Perhaps this postulated step can be pinned down in a later project. "Our current methodology allows us to monitor the assembly of individual virions, and we are working on further refinements that will allow us to follow the complete life cycle of HIV," says Lamb. "We can already visualize some steps of the life cycle at the level of a single virus, observe interactions and determine the kinetics of different processes. Of course, this means that we can also label therapeutic agents and observe what effects they have in infected cells. This can help us to optimize the currently available drugs and even allow us to develop new ones." (gd)


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Contact: Luise Dirscherl
dirscherl@lmu.de
49-892-180-2706
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt Mnchen
Source:Eurekalert

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