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J Virol. 1995 Jul;69(7):4582-6.

Aberrant Gag protein composition of a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 vif mutant produced in primary lymphocytes.

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Molecular Virology Laboratory, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center and College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10019, USA.


Productive, spreading infection of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) requires the viral protein Vif. To study the requirement for vif in this system, we infected PBL with a phenotypically complemented HIV-1 clone mutated in vif. Progeny virus was produced which was noninfectious in PBL but replicated in SupT1 cells. Analysis of metabolically labeled proteins of sedimentable extracellular particles made in PBL by radioimmunoprecipitation with either serum from a patient with AIDS or a monoclonal antibody reactive with HIV-1 Gag proteins revealed that vif-negative but not wild-type particles carry higher levels of p55, p41, and p38 Gag-specific proteins compared with those of p24. Similar results were obtained with sucrose-purified virions. Our data indicate that vif plays a role in Gag protein processing or in incorporation of processed Gag products into mature virions. The presence of unprocessed precursor Gag polyprotein (Pr55gag) and other Gag processing intermediates in PBL-derived vif-negative extracellular particles may contribute to the reduced infectivity of this virus.

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