Dynamic conformational changes in the rhesus TRIM5α dimer dictate the potency of HIV-1 restriction

Virology. 2017 Jan;500:161-168. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2016.10.003. Epub 2016 Nov 4.


The TRIM5α protein from rhesus macaques (rhTRIM5α) mediates a potent inhibition of HIV-1 infection via a mechanism that involves the abortive disassembly of the viral core. We have demonstrated that alpha-helical elements within the Linker 2 (L2) region, which lies between the SPRY domain and the Coiled-Coil domain, influence the potency of restriction. Here, we utilize single-molecule FRET analysis to reveal that the L2 region of the TRIM5α dimer undergoes dynamic conformational changes, which results in the displacement of L2 regions by 25 angstroms relative to each other. Analysis of restriction enhancing or abrogating mutations in the L2 region reveal that restriction defective mutants are unable to undergo dynamic conformational changes and do not assume compact, alpha-helical conformations in the L2 region. These data suggest a model in which conformational changes in the L2 region mediate displacement of CA bound SPRY domains to induce the destabilization of assembled capsid during restriction.

Keywords: Coiled coil; Dimer; HIV-1; Molecular dynamics simulation; Restriction factor; Single molecule FRET; TRIM5alpha; Tripartite Motif; smFRET.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / immunology*
  • Cell Line
  • Dimerization
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • HIV Infections / genetics
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Macaca mulatta / genetics
  • Macaca mulatta / immunology*
  • Macaca mulatta / virology
  • Mutation
  • Protein Conformation


  • Carrier Proteins