Cyclophilin A stabilizes the HIV-1 capsid through a novel non-canonical binding site.
Liu C., Perilla JR., Ning J., Lu M., Hou G., Ramalho R., Himes BA., Zhao G., Bedwell GJ., Byeon I-J., Ahn J., Gronenborn AM., Prevelige PE., Rousso I., Aiken C., Polenova T., Schulten K., Zhang P.
The host cell factor cyclophilin A (CypA) interacts directly with the HIV-1 capsid and regulates viral infectivity. Although the crystal structure of CypA in complex with the N-terminal domain of the HIV-1 capsid protein (CA) has been known for nearly two decades, how CypA interacts with the viral capsid and modulates HIV-1 infectivity remains unclear. We determined the cryoEM structure of CypA in complex with the assembled HIV-1 capsid at 8-Å resolution. The structure exhibits a distinct CypA-binding pattern in which CypA selectively bridges the two CA hexamers along the direction of highest curvature. EM-guided all-atom molecular dynamics simulations and solid-state NMR further reveal that the CypA-binding pattern is achieved by single-CypA molecules simultaneously interacting with two CA subunits, in different hexamers, through a previously uncharacterized non-canonical interface. These results provide new insights into how CypA stabilizes the HIV-1 capsid and is recruited to facilitate HIV-1 infection.