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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2010 Oct;26(10):1115-31. doi: 10.1089/aid.2010.0029. Epub 2010 Sep 13.

Diversity of envelope genes from an uncloned stock of SIVmac251.

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  • 1New England Primate Research Center, Harvard Medical School, Southborough, Massachusetts 01772-9102, USA.


AIDS vaccine and pathogenesis research will benefit from a more diverse array of cloned SIV challenge stocks from which to choose. Toward this end, 20 envelope genes were cloned from an extensively used, primary stock of uncloned SIVmac251. Each of the 20 clones had a unique sequence. Their translated sequences differed by as many as 26 amino acids from one another and by as many as 45 amino acids from the commonly used clone SIVmac239. Envelope sequences up to and including the membrane-spanning domain were exchanged into the infectious pathogenic SIVmac239 clone and virus stocks were produced by HEK293T cell transfection. Seventeen of the 20 recombinants were replication competent. The infectivities per ng p27 of the 17 new replication-competent recombinants in C8166-SEAP cells and in TZM-bl cells ranged from minus 32-fold to plus 7.6-fold relative to SIVmac239. A range of sensitivities to neutralization by sCD4 and by sera from SIV-infected macaques was observed but none was as sensitive to these neutralizing agents as SIVmac316, the highly macrophage-competent derivative of SIVmac239. Four strains that were most sensitive to sCD4 inhibition were also among the most sensitive to antibody-mediated neutralization. None of the new recombinant viruses replicated as well as SIVmac316 in primary alveolar macrophage cultures from rhesus monkeys but three of the strains did exhibit significant levels of delayed replication in these primary macrophages, reaching peak levels of virus production of ≥50 ng/ml p27 compared to 600-800 ng/ml p27 with SIVmac316. These new SIV clones are being contributed to the NIH AIDS Reagent Repository and are available to the scientific community.

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