Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

HIV-1 assembly occurs at the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane (PM) in highly ordered membrane microdomains. The size and stability of membrane microdomains is regulated by activity of the sphingomyelin hydrolase neutral sphingomyelinase 2 (nSMase2) that is localized primarily to the inner leaflet of the PM. In this study, we demonstrate that pharmacological inhibition or depletion of nSMase2 in HIV-1-producer cells results in a block in the processing of the major viral structural polyprotein Gag and the production of morphologically aberrant, immature HIV-1 particles with severely impaired infectivity. We find that disruption of nSMase2 also severely inhibits the maturation and infectivity of other primate lentiviruses HIV-2 and simian immunodeficiency virus, has a modest or no effect on nonprimate lentiviruses equine infectious anemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus, and has no effect on the gammaretrovirus murine leukemia virus. These studies demonstrate a key role for nSMase2 in HIV-1 particle morphogenesis and maturation.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





Gag processing, HIV-1, infectivity, maturation, nSMase2, Animals, Cats, Horses, Mice, HIV-1, Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase, Virus Assembly, Lentivirus, Infectious Anemia Virus, Equine