Lien vers Pubmed [PMID] – 36709212
Lien DOI – 10.1038/s41467-023-36219-3
Nat Commun 2023 Jan; 14(1): 471
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) capsid assembly modulators (CAMs) represent a recent class of anti-HBV antivirals. CAMs disturb proper nucleocapsid assembly, by inducing formation of either aberrant assemblies (CAM-A) or of apparently normal but genome-less empty capsids (CAM-E). Classical structural approaches have revealed the CAM binding sites on the capsid protein (Cp), but conformational information on the CAM-induced off-path aberrant assemblies is lacking. Here we show that solid-state NMR can provide such information, including for wild-type full-length Cp183, and we find that in these assemblies, the asymmetric unit comprises a single Cp molecule rather than the four quasi-equivalent conformers typical for the icosahedral T = 4 symmetry of the normal HBV capsids. Furthermore, while in contrast to truncated Cp149, full-length Cp183 assemblies appear, on the mesoscopic level, unaffected by CAM-A, NMR reveals that on the molecular level, Cp183 assemblies are equally aberrant. Finally, we use a eukaryotic cell-free system to reveal how CAMs modulate capsid-RNA interactions and capsid phosphorylation. Our results establish a structural view on assembly modulation of the HBV capsid, and they provide a rationale for recently observed differences between in-cell versus in vitro capsid assembly modulation.