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Gene Review

vpx  -  vpx

Simian-Human immunodeficiency virus

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Disease relevance of vpx

  • Comparison of the encoded protein sequences suggests that the vpx gene within the HIV-2 group arose by the duplication of an ancestral vpr gene within this group [1].
  • Evolution of the primate lentiviruses: evidence from vpx and vpr [1].
  • To determine whether such a cis-acting element from Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (MPMV) would substitute for SIV Rev and RRE functions, the MPMV CTE was inserted either into the Nef ORF or at the junction of vpx and vpr of our Rev(-), RRE(-), and Rev(-)RRE(-) SIV molecular clones [2].
  • Origin of vpx in lentiviruses [3].
  • This genomic organization differs from that of SIVsm-SIVmac-HIV-2 group viruses, which contain two gene homologs, designated vpr and vpx, which in combination appear to share the functions of HIV-1 vpr [4].

High impact information on vpx

  • Because of their similarity to the vpr proteins of other groups, we suggest reclassifying the SIVagm vpx gene as a vpr gene [1].
  • Both the SIVdrl and SIVmnd type 2 genomes carried a vpx gene and appeared to share a common ancestor with SIVrcm in the 5' region of the genome and with SIVmndGB1 (type 1) in the 3' region of the genome [5].
  • Rhesus monkeys infected with the vpx deletion mutant showed lower levels of plasma antigenemia, lower virus burdens, and delayed declines in CD4+ lymphocyte concentrations but nonetheless progressed with AIDS to a terminal stage [6].
  • VL during the chronic phase did not correlate with viral genome structure: SIVmnd-2 (a vpx-containing virus) and SIVmnd-1 (which does not contain vpu or vpx) replicated to similar levels in mandrills [7].
  • Thus, B7 cells produced stable, non-infectious virus mutants, which contained env and gag proteins, but lacked detectable amounts of vpx and of enzymes required for virus replication [8].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of vpx

  • Furthermore, although the SIVagm vpx proteins are homologous to the HIV-2 group vpx proteins, there are insufficient grounds from sequence analysis for classifying them as vpx proteins [1].


  1. Evolution of the primate lentiviruses: evidence from vpx and vpr. Tristem, M., Marshall, C., Karpas, A., Hill, F. EMBO J. (1992) [Pubmed]
  2. Rev/RRE-independent Mason-Pfizer monkey virus constitutive transport element-dependent propagation of SIVmac239 vectors using a single round of replication assay. Rizvi, T.A., Schmidt, R.D., Lew, K.A., Keeling, M.E. Virology (1996) [Pubmed]
  3. Origin of vpx in lentiviruses. Tristem, M., Marshall, C., Karpas, A., Petrik, J., Hill, F. Nature (1990) [Pubmed]
  4. Vpr of simian immunodeficiency virus of African green monkeys is required for replication in macaque macrophages and lymphocytes. Campbell, B.J., Hirsch, V.M. J. Virol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  5. Characterization and comparison of recombinant simian immunodeficiency virus from drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) and mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) isolates. Hu, J., Switzer, W.M., Foley, B.T., Robertson, D.L., Goeken, R.M., Korber, B.T., Hirsch, V.M., Beer, B.E. J. Virol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  6. Progression to AIDS in the absence of a gene for vpr or vpx. Gibbs, J.S., Lackner, A.A., Lang, S.M., Simon, M.A., Sehgal, P.K., Daniel, M.D., Desrosiers, R.C. J. Virol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  7. Simian immunodeficiency viruses replication dynamics in African non-human primate hosts: common patterns and species-specific differences. Pandrea, I., Silvestri, G., Onanga, R., Veazey, R.S., Marx, P.A., Hirsch, V., Apetrei, C. J. Med. Primatol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  8. Properties of virus-like particles produced by SIV-chronically infected human cell clones. Kraiselburd, E.N., Torres, J.V. Cell. Mol. Biol. (Noisy-le-grand) (1995) [Pubmed]
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