Role of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 envelope gene in viral fitness.
ABSTRACT A human host offers a variety of microenvironments to the infecting human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), resulting in various selective pressures, most of them directed against the envelope (env) gene. Therefore, it seems evident that the replicative capacity of the virus is largely related to viral entry. In this study we have used growth competition experiments and TaqMan real-time PCR detection to measure the fitness of subtype B HIV-1 primary isolates and autologous env-recombinant viruses in order to analyze the contribution of wild-type env sequences to overall HIV-1 fitness. A significant correlation was observed between fitness values obtained for wild-type HIV-1 isolates and those for the corresponding env-recombinant viruses (r = 0.93; P = 0.002). Our results suggest that the env gene, which is linked to a myriad of viral characteristics (e.g., entry into the host cell, transmission, coreceptor usage, and tropism), plays a major role in fitness of wild-type HIV-1. In addition, this new recombinant assay may be useful for measuring the contribution of HIV-1 env to fitness in viruses resistant to novel antiretroviral entry inhibitors.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Miguel E Quinones-Mateu, May 29, 2015
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ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) fitness has been associated with virus entry, a process mediated by the envelope glycoprotein (Env). We previously described Env genetic diversification in a Zambian, subtype C infected, slow-progressor child (1157i) in parallel with an evolving neutralizing antibody response. Because of the role the Variable-3 loop (V3) plays in transmission, cell tropism, neutralization sensitivity, and fitness, longitudinally isolated 1157i C2-V4 alleles were cloned into HIV-1NL4-3-eGFP and -DsRed2 infectious molecular clones. The fluorescent reporters allowed for dual-infection competitions between all patient-derived C2-V4 chimeras to quantify the effect of V3 diversification and selection on fitness. 'Winners' and 'losers' were readily discriminated among the C2-V4 alleles. Exceptional sensitivity for detection of subtle fitness differences was revealed through analysis of two alleles differing in a single synonymous amino acid. However, when the outcomes of N = 33 competitions were averaged for each chimera, the aggregate analysis showed that despite increasing diversification and divergence with time, natural selection of C2-V4 sequences in this individual did not appear to be producing a 'survival of the fittest' evolutionary pattern. Rather, we detected a relatively flat fitness landscape consistent with mutational robustness. Fitness outcomes were then correlated with individual components of the entry process. Env incorporation into particles correlated best with fitness, suggesting a role for Env avidity, as opposed to receptor/coreceptor affinity, in defining fitness. Nevertheless, biochemical analyses did not identify any step in HIV-1 entry as a dominant determinant of fitness. Our results lead us to conclude that multiple aspects of entry contribute to maintaining adequate HIV-1 fitness, and there is no surrogate analysis for determining fitness. The capacity for subtle polymorphisms in Env to nevertheless significantly impact viral fitness suggests fitness is best defined by head-to-head competition.PLoS ONE 04/2013; 8(4):e63094. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0063094 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction: Co-infection with GB virus C (GBV-C) in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) has been associated with prolonged survival. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of GBV-C infection among HIV-1-infected patients in Venezuela, and to determine the effects of the co-infection on the levels of relevant cytokines. Methodology: Plasma samples were collected from 270 HIV-1-seronegative and 255 HIV-1-seropositive individuals. GBV-C infection was determined by RT-PCR of the NS5 region and genotyped by sequence analysis of the 5'UTR region. HIV-1 strains were characterized by sequence analysis of pol, vif, env, and nef genes. Selected cytokines were evaluated by ELISA. Results: Ninety-seven of 525 (18.5%) plasma samples tested positive for GBV-C RNA. A significantly higher prevalence of GBV-C was found among HIV-1 patients compared to HIV-1-seronegative individuals (67/255, 26% versus 30/270, 11%; p < 0.001). Statistical difference was observed in the viral load between HIV-1+GBV-C+ and HIV-1+GBV-C- (p = 0.014), although no differences in CD4(+) cell counts were found between both groups. TNF alpha concentration was higher in HIV-1(+)GBV-C- than in HIV-1(+)GBV-C+ patients (25.9 pg/mL versus 17.3 pg/mL; p = 0.02); RANTES expression levels were more variable in GBV-C co-infected patients and more frequently elevated in HIV-1 mono-infected patients compared to patients co-infected with GBV-C. Conclusions: The previously observed beneficial effect of co-infection with HIV-1 and GBV-C on disease progression is complex and might be due in part to a change in the cytokine environment. More studies are required to understand the interaction between both viruses.The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries 07/2014; 8(7):863-8. DOI:10.3855/jidc.3830 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The feline and human immunodeficiency viruses (FIV and HIV) target helper T cells selectively, and in doing so they induce a profound immune dysfunction. The primary determinant of HIV cell tropism is the expression pattern of the primary viral receptor CD4 and co-receptor(s), such as CXCR4 and CCR5. FIV employs a distinct strategy to target helper T cells; a high affinity interaction with CD134 (OX40) is followed by binding of the virus to its sole co-receptor, CXCR4. Recent studies have demonstrated that the way in which FIV interacts with its primary receptor, CD134, alters as infection progresses, changing the cell tropism of the virus. This review examines the contribution of the virus-receptor interaction to replication in vivo as well as the significance of these findings to the development of vaccines and therapeutics.08/2013; 3(6). DOI:10.1016/j.coviro.2013.08.003