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Virology. 2012 Mar 15;424(2):147-53. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2011.12.016. Epub 2012 Jan 21.

Mutagen-mediated enhancement of HIV-1 replication in persistently infected cells.

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Centro Nacional de Microbiología, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.


Lethal mutagenesis, a new antiviral strategy to extinguish virus through elevated mutation rates, was explored in H61-D cells an HIV-1 persistently infected lymphoid cell line. Three mutagenic agents: 5-hydroxy-2(')-deoxycytidine (5-OHdC), 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and 2,2(')-difluoro-2(')-deoxycytidine (gemcitabine) were used. After 54 passages, treatments with 5-FU and gemcitabine reduced virus infectivity, p24 and RT activity. Treatment with the pyrimidine analog 5-OHdC resulted in increases of p24 production, RT activity and infectivity. Rise in viral replication by 5-OHdC during HIV-1 persistence is in contrast with its inhibitory effect in acute infections. Viral replication enhancement by 5-OHdC was associated with an increase in intracellular HIV-1 RNA mutations. Mechanisms of HIV-1 replication enhancement by 5-OHdC are unknown but some potential factors are discussed. Increase of HIV-1 replication by 5-OHdC cautions against the use, without previous analyses, of mutagenic nucleoside analogs for AIDS treatment.

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