The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) capsid protein (CA) plays a crucial role in both assembly and maturation of the virion as well as viral infectivity. Previous in vivo experiments generated two N-terminal domain charge change mutants (E45A and E128A/R132A) that showed an increase in stability of the viral core. This increase in core stability resulted in decreased infectivity, suggesting the need for a delicate balance of favorable and unfavorable interactions to both allow assembly and facilitate uncoating following infection. Purified CA protein can be triggered to assemble into tubelike structures through the use of a high salt buffer system. The requirement for high salt suggests the need to overcome charge/charge repulsion between subunits. The mutations mentioned above lie within a highly charged region of the N-terminal domain of CA, away from any of the proposed protein/protein interaction sites. We constructed a number of charge mutants in this region (E45A, E45K, E128A, R132A, E128A/R132A, K131A, and K131E) and evaluated their effect on protein stability in addition to their effect on the rate of CA assembly. We find that the mutations alter the rate of assembly of CA without significantly changing the stability of the CA monomer. The changes in rate for the mutants studied are found to be due to varying degrees of electrostatic repulsion between the subunits of each mutant.