The matrix domain of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Gag polyprotein was studied for its role in virus assembly. Deletion and substitution mutations caused a dramatic reduction in virus production. Mutant Gag polyproteins were myristoylated and had a high affinity for membrane association. Immunofluorescence staining revealed a large accumulation of mutant Gag precursors in the cytoplasm, while wild-type Gag proteins were primarily associated with the cell surface membrane. These results suggest a defect in intracellular transport of the mutant Gag precursors. Thus, in addition to myristoylation, the N-terminal region of the matrix domain is involved in determining Gag protein transport to the plasma membrane. Wild- type Gag polyproteins interacted with and efficiently packaged mutant Gag into virions. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that intermolecular interaction of Gag polyproteins might occur in the cytoplasm prior to being transported to the assembly site on the plasma membrane.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science