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J Virol. 2005 Jul;79(14):9069-80.

The V1, V2, and V3 regions of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 envelope differentially affect the viral phenotype in an isolate-dependent manner.

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Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, 307 Westlake Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


It is well documented that removal of the V1V2 region or of the V2 loop alone from the envelope glycoprotein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) or simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) increases the susceptibility of these viruses to neutralization by antibodies. The specific role of the V1 loop in defining the neutralization susceptibility of HIV is, however, not well documented. Our current studies indicate that although the V1V2 region is a global modulator of the HIV-1 neutralization susceptibility, the individual roles the V1 and V2 loops have in defining the neutralization susceptibility profile of HIV-1 differ and in some cases are opposite. While deletion of the V2 loop renders the virus more susceptible to neutralization by antibodies that recognize diverse epitopes, in particular certain ones located in the CD4 binding site and the V3 loop, deletion of the V1 loop renders the virus refractory to neutralization, especially by antibodies that recognize CD4-induced epitopes and certain CD4-site binding antibodies. Our current studies also indicate that the relative involvement of the V2 loop of the HIV-1 envelope during virus-cell entry appears to be envelope background dependent. As a result, although deletion of the V2 loop from the clade B, R5-tropic SF162 HIV-1 virus resulted in a virus that was replication competent, the same modification introduced on the background of two other R5-tropic isolates, SF128A (clade B) or SF170 (clade A), abrogated the ability of these envelopes to mediate virus-cell entry.

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