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Virology. 2002 Jul 5;298(2):189-99.

Species tropism of chimeric SHIV clones containing HIV-1 subtype-A and subtype-E envelope genes.

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Center for Comparative Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


To analyze HIV-1 genes in a nonhuman primate model for lentivirus infection and AIDS, recombinant SIV/HIV-1 (SHIV) clones were constructed from two HIV-1 subtype-A isolates (HIV-1(SF170) and HIV-1(Q23-17) from individuals in Africa) and two HIV-1 subtype-E isolates (HIV-1(9466) and HIV-1(CAR402) from AIDS patients in Thailand and Africa), respectively. These four SHIV clones, designated SHIV-A-170, SHIV-A-Q23, SHIV-9466.33, and SHIV-E-CAR, contain envelope (env) genes from the subtype-A or -E viruses. Interestingly, SHIV-A-170, SHIV-A-Q23, and SHIV-9466.33 were restricted for replication in cultures of macaque lymphoid cells, whereas SHIV-E-CAR replicated efficiently in these cells. Additional studies to define the block to replication in macaque cells were focused on the subtype-E clone SHIV-9466.33. A SHIV intragenic env clone, containing sequence-encompassing V1/V2 regions of HIV-1(CAR402) and V3/V4/V5 regions of SHIV-9466.33, infected and replicated in macaque lymphoid cells. These results indicated that the sequence-encompassing V1/V2 region of HIV-1(9466) was responsible for the block of the SHIV-9466.33 replication in macaque cells. Analysis of viral DNA in acutely infected macaque cells revealed that SHIV-9466.33 was blocked at a step at/or before viral DNA synthesis, presumably during the process of virion entry into cells. In a fluorescence-based cell-cell fusion assay, fusion pore formation readily took place in cocultures of cells expressing the SHIV-9466.33 env glycoprotein with macaque T-lymphoid cells. Taken together, these results demonstrated that the block of SHIV-9466.33 replication in macaque cells is at an early step after fusion pore formation but before reverse transcription.

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