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  1. Hu Y, Tan PT, Tan TW, August JT, Khan AM
    PLoS ONE, 2013;8(4):e59994.
    PMID: 23593157 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059994
    The rapid mutation of human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV-1) and the limited characterization of the composition and incidence of the variant population are major obstacles to the development of an effective HIV-1 vaccine. This issue was addressed by a comprehensive analysis of over 58,000 clade B HIV-1 protein sequences reported over at least 26 years. The sequences were aligned and the 2,874 overlapping nonamer amino acid positions of the viral proteome, each a possible core binding domain for human leukocyte antigen molecules and T-cell receptors, were quantitatively analyzed for four patterns of sequence motifs: (1) "index", the most prevalent sequence; (2) "major" variant, the most common variant sequence; (3) "minor" variants, multiple different sequences, each with an incidence less than that of the major variant; and (4) "unique" variants, each observed only once in the alignment. The collective incidence of the major, minor, and unique variants at each nonamer position represented the total variant population for the position. Positions with more than 50% total variants contained correspondingly reduced incidences of index and major variant sequences and increased minor and unique variants. Highly diverse positions, with 80 to 98% variant nonamer sequences, were present in each protein, including 5% of Gag, and 27% of Env and Nef, each. The multitude of different variant nonamer sequences (i.e. nonatypes; up to 68%) at the highly diverse positions, represented by the major, multiple minor, and multiple unique variants likely supported variants function both in immune escape and as altered peptide ligands with deleterious T-cell responses. The patterns of mutational change were consistent with the sequences of individual HXB2 and C1P viruses and can be considered applicable to all HIV-1 viruses. This characterization of HIV-1 protein mutation provides a foundation for the design of peptide-based vaccines and therapeutics.
    Matched MeSH terms: gag Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/genetics
  2. Ng KT, Ong LY, Takebe Y, Kamarulzaman A, Tee KK
    J. Virol., 2012 Oct;86(20):11405-6.
    PMID: 22997423
    We report here the first novel HIV-1 circulating recombinant form (CRF) 54_01B (CRF54_01B) isolated from three epidemiologically unlinked subjects of different risk groups in Malaysia. These recently sampled recombinants showed a complex genome organization composed of parental subtype B' and CRF01_AE, with identical recombination breakpoints observed in the gag, pol, and vif genes. Such a discovery highlights the ongoing active generation and spread of intersubtype recombinants involving the subtype B' and CRF01_AE lineages and indicates the potential of the new CRF in bridging HIV-1 transmission among different risk groups in Southeast Asia.
    Matched MeSH terms: gag Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/genetics
  3. Chow WZ, Bon AH, Keating S, Anderios F, Halim HA, Takebe Y, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(8):e0161853.
    PMID: 27575746 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161853
    Transfusion-transmissible infections including HIV-1 continue to pose major risks for unsafe blood transfusions due to both window phase infections and divergent viruses that may not be detected by donor screening assays. Given the recent emergence of several HIV-1 circulating recombinant forms (CRFs) in high-risk populations in the Southeast Asia region, we investigated the genetic diversity of HIV-1 among the blood donors in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A total of 211 HIV-positive plasma samples detected among 730,188 donations to the National Blood Centre between 2013 and 2014 were provided (90.5% male, median age: 27.0 years old). Recent or long-term infection status at the time of donation was determined using a limiting antigen avidity enzyme immunoassay (LAg-Avidity EIA). HIV-1 gag-pol genes were amplified and sequenced from residual plasma for 149 cases followed by genotype determination using phylogenetic and recombination analyses. Transmitted antiretroviral resistance mutations were not observed among the blood donors, among which 22.7% were classified as recent or incident infections. Major circulating HIV-1 genotypes determined by neighbour-joining phylogenetic inference included CRF01_AE at 40.9% (61/149), CRF33_01B at 21.5% (32/149), and subtype B at 10.1% (15/149). Newly-described CRFs including CRF54_01B circulated at 4.0%, CRF74_01B at 2.0%, and CRF53_01B and CRF48_01B at 0.7% each. Interestingly, unique HIV-1 genotypes including African subtype G (8.7%), CRF45_cpx (1.3%), CRF02_AG (0.7%) and CRF07_BC (0.7%) from China were detected for the first time in the country. A cluster of subtype G sequences formed a distinct founder sub-lineage within the African strains. In addition, 8.7% (13/149) of HIV-infected donors had unique recombinant forms (URFs) including CRF01_AE/B' (4.7%), B'/C (2.7%) and B'/G (1.3%) recombinants. Detailed analysis identified similar recombinant structures with shared parental strains among the B'/C and B'/G URFs, some of which were sequenced from recently infected individuals, indicating the possible emergence and on-going spread of foreign clades of CRF candidates among the local population. The findings demonstrate extensive molecular complexity of HIV-1 among the infected blood donors in Malaysia, driven in part by the increased spread of recently described CRFs and multiple introductions of previously unreported genotypes from highly prevalent countries.
    Matched MeSH terms: gag Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/genetics*
  4. Sakkhachornphop S, Hadpech S, Wisitponchai T, Panto C, Kantamala D, Utaipat U, et al.
    Viruses, 2018 11 13;10(11).
    PMID: 30428529 DOI: 10.3390/v10110625
    Certain proteins have demonstrated proficient human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) life cycle disturbance. Recently, the ankyrin repeat protein targeting the HIV-1 capsid, AnkGAG1D4, showed a negative effect on the viral assembly of the HIV-1NL4-3 laboratory strain. To extend its potential for future clinical application, the activity of AnkGAG1D4 in the inhibition of other HIV-1 circulating strains was evaluated. Chimeric NL4-3 viruses carrying patient-derived Gag/PR-coding regions were generated from 131 antiretroviral drug-naïve HIV-1 infected individuals in northern Thailand during 2001⁻2012. SupT1, a stable T-cell line expressing AnkGAG1D4 and ankyrin non-binding control (AnkA32D3), were challenged with these chimeric viruses. The p24CA sequences were analysed and classified using the K-means clustering method. Among all the classes of virus classified using the p24CA sequences, SupT1/AnkGAG1D4 demonstrated significantly lower levels of p24CA than SupT1/AnkA32D3, which was found to correlate with the syncytia formation. This result suggests that AnkGAG1D4 can significantly interfere with the chimeric viruses derived from patients with different sequences of the p24CA domain. It supports the possibility of ankyrin-based therapy as a broad alternative therapeutic molecule for HIV-1 gene therapy in the future.
    Matched MeSH terms: gag Gene Products, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/genetics*
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