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Early Infection HIV-1 Envelope V1-V2 Genotypes Do Not Enhance Binding or Replication in Cells Expressing High Levels of α4β7 Integrin

Etemad, Behzad PhD*; Gonzalez, Oscar A. BS*; McDonough, Sean BS; Pena-Cruz, Victor BS*; Sagar, Manish MD*

JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: November 1st, 2013 - Volume 64 - Issue 3 - p 249–253
doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182a06ddd
Brief Report: Basic and Translational Science

Abstract: It has been postulated that HIV-1 envelope properties, such as shorter and less-glycosylated V1-V2 loops commonly observed among non–subtype B early-transmitted viruses, promote utilization of the gut homing integrin α4β7. This property potentially confers an advantage to some HIV-1 variants early after acquisition. We found that replication-competent recombinant viruses incorporating HIV-1 subtype A compact and less-glycosylated early versus chronic phase V1-V2 loops demonstrated no significant difference in binding to α4β7 high CD8+ T cells or replication in α4β7 high CD4+ T cells. Integrin α4β7 usage does not select for shorter less-glycosylated envelopes during transmission.

*Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA; and

Dana Farber Cancer Research Center, Boston, MA.

Correspondence to: Manish Sagar, MD, Boston University School of Medicine, Evans Biomedical Research Center, 650 Albany Street, EBRC-647, Boston, MA 02118-2518 (e-mail:

Supported by National Institute of Health Grant AI1077473 (M.S.).

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Received October 19, 2012

Accepted June 13, 2013

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins