Degradation of HIV-1 Integrase by the N-end Rule Pathway

Lubbertus C. F. Mulder, Mark A. Muesing
2000 Journal of Biological Chemistry  
Human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) integrase catalyzes the irreversible insertion of the viral genome into host chromosomal DNA. We have developed a mammalian expression system for the synthesis of authentic HIV-1 integrase in the absence of other viral proteins. Integrase, which bears a N-terminal phenylalanine, was found to be a short-lived protein in human embryo kidney 293T cells. The degradation of integrase could be suppressed by proteasome inhibitors. N-terminal phenylalanine is
more » ... recognized as a degradation signal by a ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic system known as the N-end rule pathway. The replacement of N-terminal phenylalanine with methionine, valine, or glycine, which are stabilizing residues in the N-end rule, resulted in metabolically stabilized integrase proteins (half-life of N-terminal Met-integrase was at least 3 h). Conversely, the substitution of N-terminal phenylalanine with other destabilizing residues retained the metabolic instability of integrase. These findings indicate that the HIV-1 integrase is a physiological substrate of the N-end rule. We discuss a possible functional similarity to the better understood turnover of the bacteriophage Mu transposase and functions of integrase instability to the maintenance and integrity of the host cell genome.
doi:10.1074/jbc.m004670200 pmid:10893419 fatcat:3f27pvg6l5cldd4kn7hxpzacgm