Leslie, A. J. et al. Transmission and accumulation of CTL escape variants drive negative associations between HIV polymorphisms and HLA. J. Exp. Med. 201, 891-902

Peter Medawar Building, University of Oxford, Oxford OX13SY, UK.
Journal of Experimental Medicine (Impact Factor: 12.52). 04/2005; 201(6):891-902. DOI: 10.1084/jem.20041455
Source: PubMed


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 amino acid sequence polymorphisms associated with expression of specific human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I alleles suggest sites of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-mediated selection pressure and immune escape. The associations most frequently observed are between expression of an HLA class I molecule and variation from the consensus sequence. However, a substantial number of sites have been identified in which particular HLA class I allele expression is associated with preservation of the consensus sequence. The mechanism behind this is so far unexplained. The current studies, focusing on two examples of "negatively associated" or apparently preserved epitopes, suggest an explanation for this phenomenon: negative associations can arise as a result of positive selection of an escape mutation, which is stable on transmission and therefore accumulates in the population to the point at which it defines the consensus sequence. Such negative associations may only be in evidence transiently, because the statistical power to detect them diminishes as the mutations accumulate. If an escape variant reaches fixation in the population, the epitope will be lost as a potential target to the immune system. These data help to explain how HIV is evolving at a population level. Understanding the direction of HIV evolution has important implications for vaccine development.

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    • "HIV-1 escape from Human Leukocyte-Antigen (HLA) class I-restricted CD8+ T-lymphocytes (CTL) occurs in a broadly predictable manner based on the HLA alleles expressed by the host [1]. Reversion of escape mutations, usually to consensus, upon HIV-1 transmission to an individual lacking the restricting HLA also occurs reproducibly in many [2-5], though not all [6-8], cases. The reproducible nature of viral adaptation allows us to identify HLA-associated polymorphisms in HIV-1 (that is, viral polymorphisms that are significantly over- or under- represented among persons expressing a given HLA allele) “at the population level” (that is, via the analysis of cross-sectional, linked HLA/HIV-1 genotypes via statistical association approaches that additionally correct for various potential confounders [9-12]). "
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Retrovirology
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    • "Nef sequences and HLA-types were generated as previously described [19,48]. Viral loads were performed using the Roche Amplicor v.1.5 "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies in the SIV-macaque model of HIV infection suggest that Nef-specific CD8+ T-cell responses may mediate highly effective immune control of viraemia. In HIV infection Nef recognition dominates in acute infection, but in large cohort studies of chronically infected subjects, breadth of T cell responses to Nef has not been correlated with significant viraemic control. Improved disease outcomes have instead been associated with targeting Gag and, in some cases, Pol. However analyses of the breadth of Nef-specific T cell responses have been confounded by the extreme immunogenicity and multiple epitope overlap within the central regions of Nef, making discrimination of distinct responses impossible via IFN-gamma ELISPOT assays. Thus an alternative approach to assess Nef as an immune target is needed. Here, we show in a cohort of >700 individuals with chronic C-clade infection that >50% of HLA-B-selected polymorphisms within Nef are associated with a predicted fitness cost to the virus, and that HLA-B alleles that successfully drive selection within Nef are those linked with lower viral loads. Furthermore, the specific CD8+ T cell epitopes that are restricted by protective HLA Class I alleles correspond substantially to effective SIV-specific epitopes in Nef. Distinguishing such individual HIV-specific responses within Nef requires specific peptide-MHC I tetramers. Overall, these data suggest that CD8+ T cell targeting of certain specific Nef epitopes contributes to HIV suppression. These data suggest that a re-evaluation of the potential use of Nef in HIV T-cell vaccine candidates would be justified.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "The phenomenon of reversion to the wildtype is generally observed when the pressure that is selected for the initial mutation(s) is no longer applied. The mechanism of reversion was initially observed in HIV infection [51, 61, 62] and subsequently in HCV infection [21, 24, 32]. However, an absence of reversion despite the absence of the selective pressure can be partly explained by the emergence of compensatory mutations. "
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    ABSTRACT: Replication of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an error-prone process. This high error rate results in the emergence of viral populations (quasispecies) within hosts and contributes to interhost variability. Numerous studies have demonstrated that both viral and host factors contribute to this viral diversity, which can ultimately affect disease outcome. As the host's immune response is an important correlate of infection outcome for HCV, many of these viral variations are strongly influenced by T-cell immune pressure and accordingly constitute an efficient strategy to subvert such pressures (viral adaptations). This paper will review the data on viral diversity observed between and within hosts infected with HCV from the acute to the chronic stage of infection and will focus on viral adaptation to the host's T-cell immune response.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · The Scientific World Journal
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