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Virology. 1997 Mar 3;229(1):295-301.

Human immunodeficiency virus type I Nef independently affects virion incorporation of major histocompatibility complex class I molecules and virus infectivity.

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Laboratoire Rétrovirus et Transfert Génétique, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


We have recently reported that HIV-1 Net down-regulates the cell surface expression of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) molecules. MHC-I molecules are one of the predominant cellular proteins associated with HIV-1 virions. Wild-type or nef-mutated HIV-1 virions were analyzed by immunoelectronic microscopy and Western blot for particle-associated MHC-I molecules. The number of MHC-I molecules was significantly higher in HIV-1 virions produced in the absence of Nef than in wild-type virions, indicating that Nef affects the incorporation of MHC-I molecules into virions. Wild-type HIV particles have been shown to be more infectious than Nef- viruses. This difference was maintained when Nef+ and Nef virions devoid of MHC-I molecules were produced in Daudi-CD4 cells. Therefore, the enhancement of virion infectivity and the down-regulation of MHC-I represent independent biological properties of Nef.

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