Full length vpu from hiv-1: Combining molecular dynamics simulations with nmr spectroscopy

V. Lemaitre, D. Willbold, A. Watts, W. B. Fischer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Based on structures made available by solution NMR, molecular models of the protein Vpu from HIV-1 were built and refined by 6 ns MD simulations in a fully hydrated lipid bilayer. Vpu is an 81 amino acid type I integral membrane protein encoded by the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) and closely related simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs). Its role is to amplify viral release. Upon phosphorylation, the cytoplasmic domain adopts a more compact shape with helices 2 and 3 becoming almost parallel to each other. A loss of helicity for several residues belonging to the helices adjacent to both ends of the loop region containing serines 53 and 57 is observed. A fourth helix, present in one of the NMR-based structures of the cytoplasmic domain and located near the C-terminus, is lost upon phosphorylation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-496
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • HIV-1
  • Membrane protein
  • Molecular dynamics simulations
  • NMR spectroscopy
  • Vpu


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