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Virology. 1998 Sep 1;248(2):182-7.

Virion incorporation of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 Vif is determined by intracellular expression level and may not be necessary for function.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104-6148, USA.


The viral infectivity factor (Vif) of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) functions at a late stage of the viral life cycle to confer infectivity on progeny virions. Although Vif is present in HIV-1 particles, both the relevance of incorporation for function and the mechanism that underlies incorporation remain unresolved. Using matched T cell systems that express high or low levels of Vif, we demonstrate that the extent of Vif incorporation into virions varies in relation to cellular expression levels. Because viral infectivity is not affected by these variations, we suggest that the packaging of Vif is neither specific nor necessary for function.

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