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Independent fluctuation of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 rev and gp41 quasispecies in vivo.

  • L P Martins
  • N Chenciner
  • B Asjö
  • A Meyerhans
  • S Wain-Hobson
Publication Date
Aug 01, 1991
  • Biology
  • Medicine


The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) overlapping rev and env coding sequences have been examined from sequential peripheral blood mononuclear cell DNA samples from one individual. These were the same DNA samples from which sequence data for the tat and nef/long terminal repeat loci have been derived and span a 4-year period. The rev/env sequences were established by sequencing cloned polymerase chain reaction products. The structure of the populations of rev protein sequences increased in complexity with disease, while those of the corresponding env sequences remained complex. This suggests that the rev and env populations evolved differently, probably reflecting different selection pressures. No defective rev variants encoded substitutions in residues 76 through 79, indicating that the experimental finding of down regulation of rev activity by competitive inhibition may not necessarily occur in vivo. After having analyzed three HIV loci (15% of the genome) from the same individual over 4 years, it is clear that no two loci evolved similarly, indicating the difficulties in comparing data from different loci.

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