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J Virol. 2005 Jul;79(14):9337-40.

Comparison of the genetic recombination rates of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 in macrophages and T cells.

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  • 1HIV Drug Resistance Program, NCI-Frederick, P.O. Box B, Bldg. 535, Rm. 336, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) exhibits a high level of genetic variation generated by frequent mutation and genetic recombination during reverse transcription. We have measured HIV-1 recombination rates in T cells in one round of virus replication. It was recently proposed that HIV-1 recombines far more frequently in macrophages than in T cells. In an attempt to delineate the mechanisms that elevate recombination, we measured HIV-1 recombination rates in macrophages at three different marker distances. Surprisingly, the recombination rates were comparable in macrophages and in T cells. In addition, we observed similar recombination rates in two monocytic cell lines regardless of the differentiation status. These results indicate that HIV-1 undergoes similar numbers of recombination events when infecting macrophages and T cells.

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