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J Virol. 2013 Feb;87(4):2081-93. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02741-12. Epub 2012 Dec 5.

Design requirements for interfering particles to maintain coadaptive stability with HIV-1.

Author information

1
The Gladstone Institutes, San Francisco, California, USA.

Abstract

Defective interfering particles (DIPs) are viral deletion mutants lacking essential transacting or packaging elements and must be complemented by wild-type virus to propagate. DIPs transmit through human populations, replicating at the expense of the wild-type virus and acting as molecular parasites of viruses. Consequently, engineered DIPs have been proposed as therapies for a number of diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, it is not clear if DIP-based therapies would face evolutionary blocks given the high mutation rates and high within-host diversity of lentiviruses. Divergent evolution of HIV and DIPs appears likely since natural DIPs have not been detected for lentiviruses, despite extensive sequencing of HIVs and simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs). Here, we tested if the apparent lack of lentiviral DIPs is due to natural selection and analyzed which molecular characteristics a DIP or DIP-based therapy would need to maintain coadaptive stability with HIV-1. Using a well-established mathematical model of HIV-1 in a host extended to include its replication in a single cell and interference from DIP, we calculated evolutionary selection coefficients. The analysis predicts that interference by codimerization between DIPs and HIV-1 genomes is evolutionarily unstable, indicating that recombination between DIPs and HIV-1 would be selected against. In contrast, DIPs that interfere via competition for capsids have the potential to be evolutionarily stable if the capsid-to-genome production ratio of HIV-1 is >1. Thus, HIV-1 variants that attempt to "starve" DIPs to escape interference would be selected against. In summary, the analysis suggests specific experimental measurements that could address the apparent lack of naturally occurring lentiviral DIPs and specifies how therapeutic approaches based on engineered DIPs could be evolutionarily robust and avoid recombination.

PMID:
23221552
PMCID:
PMC3571494
DOI:
10.1128/JVI.02741-12
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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