Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Shana Bergman - New College of Florida
Co-Author(s): Timothy Lezon, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
HIV is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which is responsible for millions of deaths annually and has a high resilience to treatment. The HIV capsid, composed of approximately 1300 identical capsid proteins, houses the viral genome. If the capsid cannot dissociate properly or prematurely uncoats, the released viral genome will be unable to infect the cell. This study focuses on isolating structural factors that are critical to the proper uncoating of the capsid. We use an elastic network model to predict the dynamics of the capsid and then, through systematic perturbations, study each residue’s contribution to the overall motion of the capsid. We study the inferred dynamics of the capsomer to determine co-moving structures, which provide the foundation for creating a scheme to coarse-grain the structure while preserving its global motions. We find that perturbation scanning of the coarse-grained model agrees with known influences on capsid stability.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation under Grant DBI-1263020, Department of Defense in partnership with the NSF REU program.
Faculty Advisor: Timothy R. Lezon,