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  1. Abstract

    HIV-1 capsid (CA) stability is important for viral replication. E45A and P38A mutations enhance and reduce core stability, thus impairing infectivity. Second-site mutations R132T and T216I rescue infectivity. Capsid lattice stability was studied by solving seven crystal structures (in native background), including P38A, P38A/T216I, E45A, E45A/R132T CA, using molecular dynamics simulations of lattices, cryo-electron microscopy of assemblies, time-resolved imaging of uncoating, biophysical and biochemical characterization of assembly and stability. We report pronounced and subtle, short- and long-range rearrangements: (1) A38 destabilized hexamers by loosening interactions between flanking CA protomers in P38A but not P38A/T216I structures. (2) Two E45A structures showed unexpected stabilizing CANTD-CANTDinter-hexamer interactions, variable R18-ring pore sizes, and flipped N-terminal β-hairpin. (3) Altered conformations of E45Aaα9-helices compared to WT, E45A/R132T, WTPF74, WTNup153, and WTCPSF6decreased PF74, CPSF6, and Nup153 binding, and was reversed in E45A/R132T. (4) An environmentally sensitive electrostatic repulsion between E45 and D51 affected lattice stability, flexibility, ion and water permeabilities, electrostatics, and recognition of host factors.

     
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