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Virus Res. 2000 Jan;66(1):13-26.

Dynamics of dominance of a dipeptide insertion in reverse transcriptase of HIV-1 from patients subjected to prolonged therapy.

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Service of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Carlos III, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.


A small proportion (0.8%) of individuals of a cohort of HIV-1 infected patients subjected to prolonged therapy with nucleoside analogues included a recently recognised dipeptide insertion in their RT (Ser-Ser or Ser-Gly between RT codons 69 and 70). To study the dynamics of dominance of genomes with this genetic change, sequential HIV-1 isolates from two patients were analyzed with regard to consensus sequences and complexity of mutant spectra. The two patients displayed completely different, complex evolutionary patterns leading to temporary dominance of dipeptide insertions. In one patient, a virus very closely related to an ancestor virus from the same patient overtook the population at late times, displacing genomes encoding a Ser-Ser insertion. In another patient the sequential dominance of genomes with Ser-Ser insertion-->no insertion-->Ser-Gly insertion was observed. These three types of genomes coexisted in the mutant spectrum of one HIV-1 isolate. Complexity was also reflected in the shape of phylogenetic trees derived with genomes from the mutant spectrum at each time point. The results suggest that HIV-1 genomes encoding a dipeptide insertion between RT codons 69 and 70 do not show a clear selective advantage over other genomes lacking the insertion. Such an absence of a clear selective advantage will favor that such genomes encoding this RT insertion become dominant only in a transient fashion, and following disparate kinetics in different patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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