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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Gag-Pol bearing a reverse transcriptase drug-resistant mutation influences viral genomic RNA incorporation into human immunodeficiency virus type 1 particles.

The unspliced human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA is both the messenger for Gag and Gag-Pol and the viral genomic RNA (vRNA) that is packaged into the virion. Although Gag alone is sufficient for the incorporation of vRNA into virus particles, Gag-Pol molecules play an important role in vRNA dimerization and virion maturation. Here, a cis model for vRNA packaging was demonstrated, in which nascent Gag-Pol molecules were preferentially co-encapsulated with their cognate RNA used as the template. Genome-incorporation frequencies were evaluated for two distinct HIV-1 proviral clones differing in their ability to respond to nevirapine (NVP) treatment in one round of infection. It was shown that, under NVP selection, there was a twofold-higher incorporation of vRNAs and integration of provirus genome carrying NVP resistance when compared with the wild-type counterpart. Although cis incorporation has been already demonstrated for Gag, the novelty of these findings is that newly acquired resistant mutations in Gag-Pol will select their specific genomic RNA during virus replication, thus rapidly increasing the chance of the emergence of resistant viruses during the course of anti-retroviral treatment.[1]


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