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Virology. 2005 Sep 1;339(2):226-38.

HIV-1 envelope pseudotyped viral vectors and infectious molecular clones expressing the same envelope glycoprotein have a similar neutralization phenotype, but culture in peripheral blood mononuclear cells is associated with decreased neutralization sensitivity.

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Vaccine Research Center, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, 40 Convent Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Recombinant lentiviral vectors pseudotyped with heterologous HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins allow rapid and accurate measurement of antibody-mediated HIV-1 neutralization. However, the neutralization phenotypes of envelope pseudoviruses have not been directly compared to isogenic replication competent HIV-1. We produced pseudoviruses expressing three different HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins and subcloned the same three env genes into a replication competent NL4-3 molecular clone. For each of the antibodies tested, the neutralization dose-response curves of pseudoviruses and corresponding replication competent viruses were similar. Thus, envelope pseudoviruses can be used to study the anti-HIV-1 neutralizing antibody response. A single passage of replication competent virus derived from 293T cells through peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) caused a substantial decrease in sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies. This was associated with an increase in average virion envelope glycoprotein content of the PBMC-derived virus. Replication competent HIV-1 and isogenic envelope pseudoviruses have similar neutralization characteristics, but passage into PBMC is associated with decreased sensitivity to neutralization.

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