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1.  Limited Nucleotide Changes in the Rev Response Element (RRE) during HIV-1 Infection Alter Overall Rev-RRE Activity and Rev Multimerization 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(20):11173-11186.
HIV-1 Rev and the Rev response element (RRE) enable a critical step in the viral replication cycle by facilitating the nuclear export of intron-containing mRNAs, yet their activities have rarely been analyzed in natural infections. This study characterized their genetic and functional variation in a small cohort of HIV-infected individuals. Multiple Rev and RRE sequences were obtained using single-genome sequencing (SGS) of plasma samples collected within 6 months after seroconversion and at a later time. This allowed the identification of cognate sequences that were linked in vivo in the same viral genome and acted together as a functional unit. Phylogenetic analyses of these sequences indicated that 4/5 infections were founded by a single transmission event. Rev and RRE variants from each time point were subjected to functional analysis as both cognate pairs and as individual components. While a range of Rev-RRE activities were seen, the activity of cognate pairs from a single time point clustered to a discrete level, which was termed the set point. In 3/5 patients, this set point changed significantly over the time period studied. In all patients, RRE activity was more sensitive to sequence variation than Rev activity and acted as the primary driver of the cognate set point. Selected patient RREs were also shown to have differences in Rev multimerization using gel shift binding assays. Thus, rather than acting as a simple on-off switch or maintaining a constant level of activity throughout infection, the Rev-RRE system can fluctuate, presumably to control replication.
PMCID: PMC3807272  PMID: 23926352
2.  Human Leukocyte Antigen Genotype and Risk of HIV Disease Progression before and after Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy▿‡ 
Journal of Virology  2011;85(20):10826-10833.
While the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotype has been associated with the rate of HIV disease progression in untreated patients, little is known regarding these relationships in patients using highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). The limited data reported to date identified few HLA-HIV disease associations in patients using HAART and even occasional associations that were opposite of those found in untreated patients. We conducted high-resolution HLA class I and II genotyping in a random sample (n = 860) of HIV-seropositive women enrolled in a long-term cohort initiated in 1994. HLA-HIV disease associations before and after initiation of HAART were examined using multivariate analyses. In untreated HIV-seropositive patients, we observed many of the predicted associations, consistent with prior studies. For example, HLA-B*57 (β = −0.7; 95% confidence interval [CI] = −0.9 to −0.5; P = 5 × 10−11) and Bw4 (β = −0.2; 95% CI = −0.4 to −0.1; P = 0.009) were inversely associated with baseline HIV viral load, and B*57 was associated with a low risk of rapid CD4+ decline (odds ratio [OR] = 0.2; 95% CI = 0.1 to 0.6; P = 0.002). Conversely, in treated patients, the odds of a virological response to HAART were lower for B*57:01 (OR = 0.2; 95% CI = 0.0 to 0.9; P = 0.03), and Bw4 (OR = 0.4; 95% CI = 0.1 to 1.0; P = 0.04) was associated with low odds of an immunological response. The associations of HLA genotype with HIV disease are different and sometimes even opposite in treated and untreated patients.
PMCID: PMC3187522  PMID: 21849458
3.  Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Genomic RNA Sequences in the Female Genital Tract and Blood: Compartmentalization and Intrapatient Recombination 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(1):353-363.
Investigation of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in the genital tract of women is crucial to the development of vaccines and therapies. Previous analyses of HIV-1 in various anatomic sites have documented compartmentalization, with viral sequences from each location that were distinct yet phylogenetically related. Full-length RNA genomes derived from different compartments in the same individual, however, have not yet been studied. Furthermore, although there is evidence that intrapatient recombination may occur frequently, recombinants comprising viruses from different sites within one individual have rarely been documented. We compared full-length HIV-1 RNA sequences in the plasma and female genital tract, focusing on a woman with high HIV-1 RNA loads in each compartment who had been infected heterosexually and then transmitted HIV-1 by the same route. We cloned and sequenced 10 full-length HIV-1 RNA genomes from her genital tract and 10 from her plasma. We also compared viral genomes from the genital tract and plasma of four additional heterosexually infected women, sequencing 164 env and gag clones obtained from the two sites. Four of five women, including the one whose complete viral sequences were determined, displayed compartmentalized HIV-1 genomes. Analyses of full-length, compartmentalized sequences made it possible to document complex intrapatient HIV-1 recombinants that were composed of alternating viral sequences characteristic of each site. These findings demonstrate that the genital tract and blood harbor genetically distinct populations of replicating HIV-1 and provide evidence that recombination between strains from the two compartments contributes to rapid evolution of viral sequence variation in infected individuals.
PMCID: PMC538688  PMID: 15596829
4.  Evolution of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Coreceptor Usage during Antiretroviral Therapy: a Bayesian Approach 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(20):11296-11302.
There is substantial evidence for ongoing replication and evolution of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), even in individuals receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy. Viral evolution in the presence of antiviral therapy needs to be considered when developing new therapeutic strategies. Phylogenetic analyses of HIV-1 sequences can be used for this purpose but may give rise to misleading results if rates of intrapatient evolution differ significantly. To improve analyses of HIV-1 evolution relevant to studies of pathogenesis and treatment, we developed a Bayesian hierarchical model that incorporates all available sequence data while simultaneously allowing the phylogenetic parameters of each patient to vary. We used this method to examine evolutionary changes in HIV-1 coreceptor usage in response to treatment. We examined patients whose viral populations exhibited a shift in coreceptor utilization in response to therapy. CXCR4 (X4) strains emerged in each patient but were suppressed following initiation of new antiretroviral regimens, so that CCR5-utilizing (R5) strains predominated. By phylogenetically reconstructing the evolutionary relationship of HIV-1 obtained longitudinally from each patient, it was possible to examine the origin of the reemergent R5 virus. Using our Bayesian hierarchical approach, we found that the reemergent R5 virus detectable after therapy was more closely related to the predecessor R5 virus than to the X4 strains. The Bayesian hierarchical approach, unlike more traditional methods, makes it possible to evaluate competing hypotheses across patients. This model is not limited to analyses of HIV-1 but can be used to elucidate evolutionary processes for other organisms as well.
PMCID: PMC521818  PMID: 15452249

Results 1-4 (4)