Distinctive variation in the U3R region of the 5' Long Terminal Repeat from diverse HIV-1 strains.
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Functional mapping of the 5'LTR has shown that the U3 and the R regions (U3R) contain a cluster of regulatory elements involved in the control of HIV-1 transcription and expression. As the HIV-1 genome is characterized by extensive variability, here we aimed to describe mutations in the U3R from various HIV-1 clades and CRFs in order to highlight strain specific differences that may impact the biological properties of diverse HIV-1 strains. To achieve our purpose, the U3R sequence of plasma derived virus belonging to different clades (A1, B, C, D, F2) and recombinants (CRF02_AG, CRF01_AE and CRF22_01A1) was obtained using Illumina technology. Overall, the R region was very well conserved among and across different strains, while in the U3 region the average inter-strains nucleotide dissimilarity was up to 25%. The TAR hairpin displayed a strain-distinctive cluster of mutations affecting the bulge and the loop, but mostly the stem. Like in previous studies we found a TATAA motif in U3 promoter region from the majority of HIV-1 strains and a TAAAA motif in CRF01_AE; but also in LTRs from CRF22_01A1 isolates. Although LTRs from CRF22_01A1 specimens were assigned CRF01_AE, they contained two NF-kB sites instead of the single TFBS described in CRF01_AE. Also, as previously describe in clade C isolates, we found no C/EBP binding site directly upstream of the enhancer region in CRF22_01A1 specimens. In our study, one-third of CRF02_AG LTRs displayed three NF-kB sites which have been mainly described in clade C isolates. Overall, the number, location and binding patterns of potential regulatory elements found along the U3R might be specific to some HIV-1 strains such as clade F2, CRF02_AG, CRF01_AE and CRF22_01A1. These features may be worth consideration as they may be involved in distinctive regulation of HIV-1 transcription and replication by different and diverse infecting strains.
Gene Expression Regulation, Viral
HIV Long Terminal Repeat
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1371/journal.pone.0195661
Publication InfoAnderson, Lettie; Denny, Thomas; Mbondji-Wonje, Christelle; Dong, Ming; Wang, Xue; Zhao, Jiangqin; ... Hewlett, Indira (2018). Distinctive variation in the U3R region of the 5' Long Terminal Repeat from diverse HIV-1 strains. PloS one, 13(4). pp. e0195661. 10.1371/journal.pone.0195661. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/17799.
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Professor in Medicine
Thomas N. Denny, MSc, M.Phil, is the Chief Operating Officer of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) and the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI), and a Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. He is also an Affiliate Member of the Duke Global Health Institute. He has recently been appointed to the Duke University Fuqua School of Business Health Sector Advisory Council. Previously, he was an Associate Professor of Pathology, Laboratory M