Lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF)/p75 functions as a bimodal tether during lentiviral DNA integration: its C-terminal integrase-binding domain interacts with the viral preintegration complex, whereas the N-terminal PWWP domain can bind to cellular chromatin. The molecular basis for the integrase-LEDGF/ p75 interaction is understood, while the mechanism of chromatin binding is unknown. The PWWP domain is homologous to other protein interaction modules that together comprise the Tudor clan. Based on primary amino acid sequence and three-dimensional structural similarities, 24 residues of the LEDGF/p75 PWWP domain were mutagenized to garner essential details of its function during human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. Mutating either Trp-21 or Ala-51, which line the inner wall of a hydrophobic cavity that is common to Tudor clan members, disrupts chromatin binding and virus infectivity. Consistent with a role for chromatin-associated LEDGF/p75 in stimulating integrase activity during infection, recombinant W21A protein is preferentially defective for enhancing integration into chromatinized target DNA in vitro. The A51P mutation corresponds to the S270P change in DNA methyltransferase 3B that causes human immunodeficiency, centromeric instability, and facial anomaly syndrome, revealing a critical role for this amino acid position in the chromatin binding functions of varied PWWP domains. Our results furthermore highlight the requirement for a conserved Glu in the hydrophobic core that mediates interactions between other Tudor clan members and their substrates. This initial systematic mutagenesis of a PWWP domain identifies amino acid residues critical for chromatin binding function and the consequences of their changes on HIV-1 integration and infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science