Marked Epitope- and Allele-Specific Differences in Rates of Mutation in Human Immunodeficiency Type 1 (HIV-1) Gag, Pol, and Nef Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Epitopes in Acute/Early HIV-1 Infection

Partners AIDS Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 4.44). 08/2008; 82(18):9216-27. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01041-08
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT During acute human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, early host cellular immune responses drive viral evolution. The rates and extent of these mutations, however, remain incompletely characterized. In a cohort of 98 individuals newly infected with HIV-1 subtype B, we longitudinally characterized the rates and extent of HLA-mediated escape and reversion in Gag, Pol, and Nef using a rational definition of HLA-attributable mutation based on the analysis of a large independent subtype B data set. We demonstrate rapid and dramatic HIV evolution in response to immune pressures that in general reflect established cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) response hierarchies in early infection. On a population level, HLA-driven evolution was observed in approximately 80% of published CTL epitopes. Five of the 10 most rapidly evolving epitopes were restricted by protective HLA alleles (HLA-B*13/B*51/B*57/B*5801; P = 0.01), supporting the importance of a strong early CTL response in HIV control. Consistent with known fitness costs of escape, B*57-associated mutations in Gag were among the most rapidly reverting positions upon transmission to non-B*57-expressing individuals, whereas many other HLA-associated polymorphisms displayed slow or negligible reversion. Overall, an estimated minimum of 30% of observed substitutions in Gag/Pol and 60% in Nef were attributable to HLA-associated escape and reversion events. Results underscore the dominant role of immune pressures in driving early within-host HIV evolution. Dramatic differences in escape and reversion rates across codons, genes, and HLA restrictions are observed, highlighting the complexity of viral adaptation to the host immune response.

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Available from: Jonathan Carlson, Sep 28, 2015
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    • "Transmitted/early viruses tend to exhibit particular Env characteristics, including shorter variable loops with fewer glycosylation sites (Derdeyn et al., 2004; Sagar, 2010) and near-exclusive CCR5 co-receptor usage (Sagar, 2010); however, there is little knowledge regarding whether Nef characteristics of early viruses may differ from those from later infection stages (Noviello et al., 2007). Similarly, envelope length and number of glycosylation sites may increase during the infection course (Sagar et al., 2006) (though this remains somewhat controversial (Novitsky et al., 2009a)); however, few studies have examined early sequence and/or functional changes in Nef in large numbers of patients, particularly in a subtype C context (Brumme et al., 2008; Kuang et al., 2014; Noviello et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Nef plays a major role in HIV-1 pathogenicity. We studied HIV-1 subtype C infected individuals in acute/early (n=120) or chronic (n=207) infection to investigate the relationship between Nef-mediated CD4/HLA-I down-regulation activities and disease progression, and the influence of immune-driven sequence variation on these Nef functions. A single Nef sequence per individual was cloned into an expression plasmid, followed by transfection of a T cell line and measurement of CD4 and HLA-I expression. In early infection, a trend of higher CD4 down-regulation ability correlating with higher viral load set point was observed (r=0.19, p=0.05), and higher HLA-I down-regulation activity was significantly associated with faster rate of CD4 decline (p=0.02). HLA-I down-regulation function correlated inversely with the number HLA-associated polymorphisms previously associated with reversion in the absence of the selecting HLA allele (r=−0.21, p=0.0002). These data support consideration of certain Nef regions in HIV-1 vaccine strategies designed to attenuate the infection course.
    Virology 11/2014; s 468–470:214–225. DOI:10.1016/j.virol.2014.08.009 · 3.32 Impact Factor
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    • "The early cohort was comprised of HIV-1 subtype B infected patients recruited through various observational seroconverter studies including the Acute Infection and Early Disease Research Program (AIEDRP) sites in Boston and New York (USA), Sydney (Australia), a private medical clinic in Berlin (Germany), and observational cohort studies in Montreal and Vancouver (Canada) [13,23,24]. Infection dates for the patients in the early cohort were estimated as described in [13,23]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The reproducible nature of HIV-1 escape from HLA-restricted CD8+ T-cell responses allows the identification of HLA-associated viral polymorphisms ¿at the population level¿ ¿ that is, via analysis of cross-sectional, linked HLA/HIV-1 genotypes by statistical association. However, elucidating their timing of selection traditionally requires detailed longitudinal studies, which are challenging to undertake on a large scale. We investigate whether the extent and relative timecourse of immune-driven HIV adaptation can be inferred via comparative cross-sectional analysis of independent early and chronic infection cohorts.ResultsSimilarly-powered datasets of linked HLA/HIV-1 genotypes from individuals with early (median¿<¿3 months) and chronic untreated HIV-1 subtype B infection, matched for size (N¿>¿200/dataset), HLA class I and HIV-1 Gag/Pol/Nef diversity, were established. These datasets were first used to define a list of 162 known HLA-associated polymorphisms detectable at the population level in cohorts of the present size and host/viral genetic composition. Of these 162 known HLA-associated polymorphisms, 15% (occurring at 14 Gag, Pol and Nef codons) were already detectable via statistical association in the early infection dataset at p¿¿¿0.01 (q¿<¿0.2) ¿ identifying them as the most consistently rapidly escaping sites in HIV-1. Among these were known rapidly-escaping sites (e.g. B*57-Gag-T242N) and others not previously appreciated to be reproducibly rapidly selected (e.g. A*31:01-associated adaptations at Gag codons 397, 401 and 403). Escape prevalence in early infection correlated strongly with first-year escape rates (Pearson¿s R¿=¿0.68, p¿=¿0.0001), supporting cross-sectional parameters as reliable indicators of longitudinally-derived measures. Comparative analysis of early and chronic datasets revealed that, on average, the prevalence of HLA-associated polymorphisms more than doubles between these two infection stages in persons harboring the relevant HLA (p¿<¿0.0001, consistent with frequent and reproducible escape), but remains relatively stable in persons lacking the HLA (p¿=¿0.15, consistent with slow reversion). Published HLA-specific Hazard Ratios for progression to AIDS correlated positively with average escape prevalence in early infection (Pearson¿s R¿=¿0.53, p¿=¿0.028), consistent with high early within-host HIV-1 adaptation (via rapid escape and/or frequent polymorphism transmission) as a correlate of progression.Conclusion Cross-sectional host/viral genotype datasets represent an underutilized resource to identify reproducible early pathways of HIV-1 adaptation and identify correlates of protective immunity.
    Retrovirology 08/2014; 11(1):64. DOI:10.1186/PREACCEPT-8878001841312932 · 4.19 Impact Factor
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    • "The samples and host/viral genotype data analyzed in this study were obtained from three independent sources: (i) the IMSUT cohort at the Institute of Medical Science, the University of Tokyo, Japan, (ii) the baseline (pre-therapy) cross-section of the HOMER cohort in British Columbia, Canada ([8] and unpublished), and (iii) a longitudinal multicenter cohort of acute/early infected individuals [28]. The IMSUT cohort, which consists primarily of Asian patients with chronic infection, was used to determine the viral sequences and immune responses. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) class I restricted Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes (CTLs) exert substantial evolutionary pressure on HIV-1, as evidenced by the reproducible selection of HLA-restricted immune escape mutations in the viral genome. An escape mutation from tyrosine to phenylalanine at the 135th amino acid (Y135F) of the HIV-1 nef gene is frequently observed in patients with HLA-A*24:02, an HLA Class I allele expressed in ~70% of Japanese persons. The selection of CTL escape mutations could theoretically result in the de novo creation of novel epitopes, however, the extent to which such dynamic “CTL epitope switching” occurs in HIV-1 remains incompletely known. Results Two overlapping epitopes in HIV-1 nef, Nef126-10 and Nef134-10, elicit the most frequent CTL responses restricted by HLA-A*24:02. Thirty-five of 46 (76%) HLA-A*24:02-positive patients harbored the Y135F mutation in their plasma HIV-1 RNA. Nef codon 135 plays a crucial role in both epitopes, as it represents the C-terminal anchor for Nef126-10 and the N-terminal anchor for Nef134-10. While the majority of patients with 135F exhibited CTL responses to Nef126-10, none harboring the “wild-type” (global HIV-1 subtype B consensus) Y135 did so, suggesting that Nef126-10 is not efficiently presented in persons harboring Y135. Consistent with this, peptide binding and limiting dilution experiments confirmed F, but not Y, as a suitable C-terminal anchor for HLA-A*24:02. Moreover, experiments utilizing antigen specific CTL clones to recognize endogenously-expressed peptides with or without Y135F indicated that this mutation disrupted the antigen expression of Nef134-10. Critically, the selection of Y135F also launched the expression of Nef126-10, indicating that the latter epitope is created as a result of escape within the former. Conclusions Our data represent the first example of the de novo creation of a novel overlapping CTL epitope as a direct result of HLA-driven immune escape in a neighboring epitope. The robust targeting of Nef126-10 following transmission (or in vivo selection) of HIV-1 containing Y135F may explain in part the previously reported stable plasma viral loads over time in the Japanese population, despite the high prevalence of both HLA-A*24:02 and Nef-Y135F in circulating HIV-1 sequences.
    Retrovirology 05/2014; 11(1):38. DOI:10.1186/1742-4690-11-38 · 4.19 Impact Factor
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