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J Infect. 2007 Apr;54(4):367-74. Epub 2006 Jul 26.

Association of Gag cleavage sites to protease mutations and to virological response in HIV-1 treated patients.

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Laboratoire de Virologie (bâtiment CERVI), Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, EA 2387, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6), Paris, France. <>



The sequence variability in the protease and in the 5 Gag cleavage sites (CS) were explored to look for eventual associations between the mutations. Moreover, we have evaluated associations between the Gag region sequence and the virological response to Protease Inhibitors (PI).


The protease and the 5 Gag CS sequences from 98 PI-experienced patients were sequenced and compared to the HXB2 reference sequence. Sixty patients, treated by Saquinavir plus Ritonavir, were studied to evaluate the clinical impact of the Gag region variability.


The relationship between 63 protease mutations and 21 Gag CS mutations were explored. Two patterns of mutations in the protease were identified: (M46I/L, I54V, V82A/T/F) was associated to the A431V and (K20I/R/M, L89M/I) to the S373Q and L449P. None of the Gag CS mutations resulting from PI treatment was associated to the virological response to SQV/r. On the other hand, the S373P mutation had a negative impact on the virological response that remained statistically significant in a multivariate analysis after adjustment on the number of PI resistance mutations.


These results evoke the pertinence to introduce some mutations found in the Gag CS in the algorithms used for the interpretation of resistance testing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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