Purification and biochemical characterization of recombinant simian immunodeficiency virus protease and comparison to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease. Academic Article uri icon


  • Simian immunodeficiency virus protease (SIV-PR) was produced in Escherichia coli with a recombinant expression system in which the mature enzyme autoprocessed from a precursor form. Recombinant SIV and HIV-1 (human immunodeficiency virus, type 1) proteases were purified from bacterial cell lysates by use of sequential steps of ammonium sulfate precipitation and size-exclusion and ion-exchange chromatography. The amino acid composition, amino-terminal sequence, and molecular weight (monomer) of the recombinant SIV-PR were in accord with that of the 99 amino acid polypeptide predicted from the SIVMac-PR nucleotide sequence. The active form of SIV-PR was shown to be dimeric by gel filtration chromatography. Inhibition by pepstatin A, time-dependent inactivation by 1,2-epoxy-3-(4-nitrophenoxy)propane, and pH rate profiles using oligopeptide substrates demonstrated that SIV-PR behaves as an aspartic protease. Recombinant HIV-1 Pr55gag precursor was processed in vitro by SIV-PR and HIV-1 PR with indistinguishable proteolytic patterns upon NaDodSO4-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Oligopeptide substrates for HIV-1 PR were found to be suitable substrates for recombinant SIV-PR with the exception of a peptide containing the site identified for p66/p51 cleavage (Phe*Tyr) within HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT). Several synthetic peptide analogue inhibitors of HIV-1 PR were also potent inhibitors of SIV-PR, indicating that SIV infection in macaques and rhesus monkeys should be useful models for the preclinical evaluation of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) therapeutics targeted towards the virally encoded HIV-1 protease.

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

author list (cited authors)

  • Grant, S. K., Deckman, I. C., Minnich, M. D., Culp, J., Franklin, S., Dreyer, G. B., ... Meek, T. D.

citation count

  • 45

complete list of authors

  • Grant, SK||Deckman, IC||Minnich, MD||Culp, J||Franklin, S||Dreyer, GB||Tomaszek, TA||Debouck, C||Meek, TD

publication date

  • August 1991