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AIDS Rev. 2002 Oct-Dec;4(4):195-212.

HIV-1 genetic recombination: experimental approaches and observations.

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Great Lakes Center for AIDS Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School, 1150 West Medical Center Drive, Room 5641, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0620 USA.


Many HIV-1 isolates contain interwoven genomic sections derived from multiple parental strains. Such chimeric genomes arise via genetic recombination. This review summarizes experimental approaches for addressing the frequency of HIV-1 genetic recombination during single cycles of viral replication in vitro, and describes factors--such as variation in extents of sequence homology and the metabolic state of the infected cell--that modulate recombination. Findings from such studies suggest that recombinogenic template switching is an even more common occurrence during HIV-1 DNA synthesis than is the introduction of base substitution errors. This implies that recombination is an inherent property of retroviral DNA synthesis, and that the vast majority of HIV-1 DNAs are biochemical recombinants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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