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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2008 Dec;24(12):1507-19. doi: 10.1089/aid.2008.0154.

Neutralization patterns and evolution of sequential HIV type 1 envelope sequences in HIV type 1 subtype B-infected drug-naive individuals.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.

Abstract

To design a vaccine that will remain potent against HIV-1, the immunogenic regions in the viral envelope that tend to change as well as those that remain constant over time must be identified. To determine the neutralization profiles of sequential viruses over time and study whether neutralization patterns correlate with sequence evolution, 12 broadly neutralizing plasmas from HIV-1 subtype B-infected individuals were tested for their ability to neutralize sequential primary HIV-1 subtype B viruses from four individuals. Three patterns of neutralization were observed, including a loss of neutralization sensitivity by viruses over time, an increase in neutralization sensitivity by sequential viruses, or a similarity in the sensitivity of sequential viruses to neutralization. Seven to 11 gp160 clones from each sequential virus sample were sequenced and analyzed to identify mutational patterns. Analysis of the envelope sequences of the sequential viruses revealed changes characteristic of the neutralization patterns. Viruses that evolved to become resistant to neutralizing antibodies also evolved with diverse sequences, with most of the changes being due to nonsynonymous mutations occurring in the V1/V2, as well as in the constant regions (C2, C3, C4), the most changes occurring in the C3. Viruses from the patient that evolved to become more sensitive to neutralization exhibited less sequence diversity with fewer nonsynonymous changes that occurred mainly in the V1/V2 region. The V3 region remained constant over time for all the viruses tested. This study demonstrates that as viruses evolve in their host, they either become sensitive or resistant to neutralization by antibodies in heterologous plasma and mutations in different envelope regions account for these changes in their neutralization profiles.

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