Generation of a monkey-tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 carrying env from a CCR5-tropic subtype C clinical isolate
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Several derivatives of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) that evade macaque restriction factors and establish infection in pig-tailed macaques (PtMs) have been described. These monkey-tropic HIV-1s utilize CXCR4 as a co-receptor that differs from CCR5 used by most currently circulating HIV-1 strains. We generated a new monkey-tropic HIV-1 carrying env from a CCR5-tropic subtype C HIV-1 clinical isolate. Using intracellular homologous recombination, we generated an uncloned chimeric virus consisting of at least seven types of recombination breakpoints in the region between vpr and env. The virus increased its replication capacity while maintaining CCR5 tropism after in vitro passage in PtM primary lymphocytes. PtM infection with the adapted virus exhibited high peak viremia levels in plasma while the virus was undetectable at 12–16 weeks. This virus serves as starting point for generating a pathogenic monkey-tropic HIV-1 with CCR5-tropic subtype C env, perhaps through serial passage in macaques.
Virology (460-461), 1-10, 2014-07