Section 3
Chapter 2,746

Accumulation of defective viral genomes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of human immunodeficiency virus type 1-infected individuals

Sanchez, G.; Xu, X.; Chermann, J.C.; Hirsch, I.

Journal of Virology 71(3): 2233-2240


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-538X
PMID: 9032358
Accession: 002745767

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) genomes present in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of infected persons or in lymphocytes infected in vitro were studied by long-distance PCR (LD-PCR) using primers localized in the HIV-1 long terminal repeats. The full-length 9-kb DNA was the only LD-PCR product obtained in peripheral and cord blood lymphocytes from seronegative donors infected in vitro. However, a high proportion (27% to 66%) of distinct populations of extensively deleted HIV-1 genomes of variable size was detected in PBMCs of 15 of 16 HIV-1-infected persons. Physical mapping of defective genomes showed that the frequency of deletions is proportional to their proximity to the central part of HIV-1 genome. which is consistent with a deletion mechanism involving a single polymerase jump during reverse transcription. Sequencing of deletion junctions revealed the presence of short direct repeats of three or four nucleotides. The number of defective HIV-1 genomes decreased after in vitro activation of PBMCs. Persistence of full-length and deleted genomes in in vitro activated PBMCs correlated with isolation of an infectious virus. Our results represent the first quantitative assessment of intragenomic rearrangements in HIV-1 genomes in PBMCs of infected persons and demonstrate that, in contrast to in vitro injection, defective genomes accumulate in PBMCs of infected persons.

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