HIV-1 capsids mimic a microtubule regulator to coordinate early stages of infection

Eveline Santos da Silva, Shanmugapriya Shanmugapriya, Viacheslav Malikov, Feng Gu, M. Keegan Delaney, Mojgan H. Naghavi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


While the microtubule end-binding protein, EB1 facilitates early stages of HIV-1 infection, how it does so remains unclear. Here, we show that beyond its effects on microtubule acetylation, EB1 also indirectly contributes to infection by delivering the plus-end tracking protein (+TIP), cytoplasmic linker protein 170 (CLIP170) to the cell periphery. CLIP170 bound to intact HIV-1 cores or in vitro assembled capsid–nucleocapsid complexes, while EB1 did not. Moreover, unlike EB1 and several other +TIPs, CLIP170 enhanced infection independently of effects on microtubule acetylation. Capsid mutants and imaging revealed that CLIP170 bound HIV-1 cores in a manner distinct from currently known capsid cofactors, influenced by pentamer composition or curvature. Structural analyses revealed an EB-like +TIP-binding motif within the capsid major homology region (MHR) that binds SxIP motifs found in several +TIPs, and variability across this MHR sequence correlated with the extent to which different retroviruses engage CLIP170 to facilitate infection. Our findings provide mechanistic insights into the complex roles of +TIPs in mediating early stages of retroviral infection, and reveal divergent capsid-based EB1 mimicry across retroviral species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere104870
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2020


  • +TIP
  • CLIP170
  • HIV-1
  • trafficking
  • uncoating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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